A First Look at Travel, Accommodation, On-Campus Jobs and the Computer Science Course at State University of New York, Binghamton
Whenever anyone starts that new phase of academic life called getting a “Master’s from the USA,” they feel excitement, anxiety and enthusiasm. After going through the strenuous visa process and finally getting your visa stamped, you eagerly look forward to traveling to the USA to start your Master’s course. I know that because I went through exactly the same process of application. My destination was SUNY, Binghamton.
Location, Travel and Transport
Binghamton, which is almost 130 miles from New York City, is well connected to other places by Greyhound buses and other transport systems. After you arrive at the port of authority, the hosts who are assigned to you, generally give you guidance on how to reach their place. I got in touch with students already pursuing their Master’s degrees in Binghamton and got to know that the shortest (and best) way to travel to travel to Binghamton is via road from New York city.
The university is situated between three cities: Vestel, Johnson and Binghamton, all of which fall under Broome County. All graduate students, who stay off campus, stay in Binghamton. Binghamton is connected to the university, and the neighboring cities of Vestel and Johnson, by “BC Transit,” the county bus service and also “OCC transport,” a bus service run by the University. The frequency of BC transit and OCC transport buses is very high and there are never any delays. Buses always arrive at the scheduled time. If you have a Binghamton ID card bus transport is free of cost which gives you ‘free’ mobility to any place within Broome County.
Since Binghamton is a small city most students usually find accommodation a maximum of one block away from the nearest bus stop. The cost of staying in Binghamton is also low compared to cities like NYC or any other city in California State. The average rent for a 4–bedroom apartment as of 2012 is $1200 – and this covers the cost of all the utilities like water, electricity, gas and heat. Thus, if 4 students share a 4–bedroom apartment, it costs them $300 per head and also gives each of them the privilege of an individual room.
The on–campus job scene at SUNY is also very good. Almost every student applying gets a Sodexo job, which allows students to work on campus dining halls. Since it has so many dining halls, Binghamton university requires a high number of students for these jobs. On an F1 visa you are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week on campus, and with Sodexo, if you work for more than 3 hours on a day you get a free meal that day. The Sodexo job offers $7.25 per hour. Thus, anyone can earn up to $142 per week – this is after deduction of taxes. Apart from the dining halls Binghamton university also offers jobs in the Library and the Internet Center. These jobs mainly involve helping students facing issues with printers, or logins etc. Thus, the overall on–campus job scenario is good with almost everyone applying getting some kind of on campus job.
Computer Science Course
I am a Computer Science graduate student and would say that the Computer Science department has very good faculty. The Computer Science department offers 4 mandatory core courses namely
1. Computer Architecture
2. Programming Language
4. Operating Systems
Apart from these 4 mandatory core courses the department offers variety of elective courses. Thus, you can plan your courses accordingly. The Computer Science department also allows Master’s degree students to choose one of the following 3 options:
1. 10 courses and 1 exam
2. 9 courses and 1 project
3. 8 courses and thesis and its defense
The majority of the students take the second option. One great advantage of Binghamton university is that the last graduation project can be completed online and some courses apart from the core are also offered online. Thus this helps you to plan your courses and graduation efficiently.
So, What’s My Verdict?
Thus in the State University of New York at Binghamton the easy availability of on–campus jobs and the flexibility students are given to designing their own courses allows students to pursue the their core interests during their Master’s studies and earn part time along with the course. I would say it is a great place to study at.
All the best for your admission process!