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New York's Hudson Valley: A Well-Rounded Educational Experience

Where can you find the natural beauty of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, all less than an hour’s drive from the world capital of business and entertainment? Only in the scenic Hudson Valley, northwest of New York City.

Students from around the world flock to the colleges of the Hudson Valley, where they enjoy easy access to the educational, cultural and entertainment resources of New York City, as well as to the rich recreational opportunities offered by state parks, the Catskill Mountains and the majestic Hudson River. Skiing, hiking, boating and cycling are among the most popular and easily accessible activities enjoyed by international students and as local residents. The ‘Gunks’ in Minnewaska State Park attracts rock-climbers from around the world.

The Hudson Valley is home to numerous colleges of the State University of New York (SUNY), a 64-campus system that is one of the largest and finest higher education systems in the world. The Hudson Valley colleges offer the advantage of safe, scenic campuses located in attractive suburban areas. SUNY Rockland Community College, for example, was just designated the safest community college campus, 1997-2000, in the tri-state region of New York-Pennsylvania-Connecticut, in a recent study of crime on and near campus released by the US Department of Education.

Location, Location, Location!

Students wishing to enrich their studies can easily travel to the city by car or public transportation, to visit world-renowned museums and sights such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Natural History, the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue, the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building, as well as hundreds of galleries, historic sites and more. And of course, New York is the entertainment capital of the world, with Broadway shows, musical concerts, nightlife, thousands of restaurants, top-flight sports events and the ultimate in shopping. Most Hudson Valley colleges take advantage of their proximity to New York City by offering organized trips to galleries, opera and sporting events for their students, and by incorporating the resources of the city into the regular curriculum.

The cosmopolitan milieu of New York enables students from any part of the world to feel at home. Whether you are from Asia, Europe or anywhere else, you will find people from your native land and ethnic neighborhoods, with grocery stores stocked with native foods and restaurants serving familiar dishes. The exciting diversity of the city allows international students to ‘explore the world’ just by traveling a few subway stops around the city’s multi-faceted communities.

Community Colleges: An Ideal Beginning

Thousands of international students choose to begin their education at one of the thirty SUNY community colleges, of which several are located in the Hudson Valley, including SUNY Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Westchester and Hudson Valley Community Colleges. Each of these colleges offers the ‘community college advantage’ - small classes, caring, attentive faculty, and easy transferability to four-year schools, all at very affordable prices.

The close affiliation of the community colleges with the four-year SUNY schools through special transfer agreements means that students can transfer smoothly to the college of their choice. In addition, the community colleges maintain these transfer agreements, also called articulation agreements, with many of the finest private colleges.

Programs for International Students

Community colleges are known for their commitment to student success, with small faculty-to-student ratios and special attention to the needs of the individual. Most community colleges offer extensive ESL programs, as well as courses that help students to bolster the skills they will need to succeed in their collegiate studies. International students who need assistance with reading, writing and speaking English will find programs tailored to their individual level.

Community colleges also demonstrate their commitment to student success through academic advisement, tutoring, career services, job placement, counseling and crisis intervention, disability services and more. As an international student, you will find college personnel trained to help you with your unique needs, including immigration regulations, visa arrangements, housing and acculturation to your new environment.

High-Quality Education

Community college graduates obtain an outstanding education at a fraction of the cost charged by private or four-year public colleges. In addition to affordable fees, most students receive some form of financial assistance in grants, loans and work-study programs. Just as local students and their parents find the community colleges an affordable alternative, a growing number of international students are opting to spend their first two years at a community college before transferring to a four-year school.

Non-Traditional Learning Opportunities

Education is no longer bound to the classroom. Students can opt for distance learning, online classes and internships. Students earn credit while studying outside the traditional classroom in a mode that satisfies individual learning styles and busy schedules.

The SUNY colleges have the special advantage of access to the SUNY Learning Network, which offers over a thousand courses online. Through internships in a wide range of fields, students gain first-hand experience in settings such as health care facilities, television stations and corporate offices. Again, the proximity to New York City has allowed students to enjoy internships at world-renowned media outlets, hospitals and businesses.

Outstanding Programs and Facilities

The community colleges of the Hudson Valley offer a wide range of degree and certificate programs in the humanities, social sciences, arts, technologies, business, health professions, mathematics and sciences. Outside the classroom, students become involved in recreational, cultural and community activities, including student organizations and clubs, student government, student publications, athletic teams and intramural competitions.

Education for the New Millennium

The educational opportunities of New York’s Hudson’s Valley will prepare you for a successful future in a technologically advanced world. And, while achieving your educational and career goals, you will enjoy and benefit from one of the most unique, beautiful and strategically-situated regions of the United States: New York State’s Hudson Valley.

Zipora Reitman
Rockland Community College


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