The U.S. Education System
The U.S. education system is characterized by flexibility and democracy: there is a wide variety of courses, and students - both current and former - have the opportunity to choose their own subjects and to change their majors. Even in college, you can move from one college to another, study other subjects and create your own educational program.
Preschool education in the United States begins almost from the cradle. A child as young as 6 months old can be sent to a daycare or kindergarten. He can go from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. All kindergartens in the United States are fee-based, with the average monthly fee being around $1,200.
For children between the ages of three and five, preparatory groups operate in schools. At this stage, more attention is paid to general development, socialization and literature, as the preschool system prioritizes the task of teaching children reading skills.
Schooling in the United States is divided into three stages.
Elementary (grades 1-5) - Children learn basic required subjects and participate in physical education and creativity.
Middle school (grades 6-8) or junior high (grades 7-9) - in addition to the required subjects, elective subjects emerge.
High School (grades 9-12) or High School (grades 11-12) - Reduction in the number of required subjects and maximum freedom to choose the subjects studied. For the past 2 years, talented students have been able to take college prerequisite courses. At the end of high school, U.S. students must take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test).
Depending on the state, children begin school between the ages of 5 and 8. As a rule, each phase of the American school has its own building and is a completely separate educational institution.
The school year in American schools is divided into two semesters. The period is 5-6 hours per day, including lunch breaks. Afternoons are most often used for sports, clubs and other community service, which are mandatory for American schooling.
Unlike the world's leading American higher education system, the school sector has the opposite value. On the one hand, there are few required subjects: these include math, English, science, history, art, and physical education.
On the other hand, students can choose from a wide range of specialized courses: from drama to ecology. This list also includes foreign languages. Many schools offer college prerequisites for high school students: the most motivated and capable students can take additional courses in specific subjects at the college level. Thus, the American school system is favorable for those who want to learn, but not for the general growth of education in the country.
The U.S. higher education system includes colleges and universities - private and public. Most of them are among the best educational institutions in the world, according to international rankings. It is worth replacing that, unlike the European education system, in the United States there is no qualitative difference between colleges and universities. For example, even Harvard, which was ranked number one in 2016, is actually divided into schools, colleges and institutes. The only difference is that colleges offer only undergraduate programs, while universities and institutes offer the opportunity to engage in scientific research and to continue working as a magistrate (1-2 years), graduate studies (3 to 6 years) and to Doctoral dissertation defense. If the student's profession is related to medical, legal or theological education, the program is somewhat different: after completing the bachelor's program, the student can enter a higher professional school. Similar educational institutions are available at large universities, where the duration of study is 3 years.
Technical colleges and community colleges are vocational, but can be the first step in higher education if students transfer to a university for a bachelor's degree program after studying there. Usually, the transfer takes place in the 2nd or 3rd course.
Advantages of studying foreigners in the United States
Wide range of fields and programs. Everyone is sure to find something that interests him or her. You can choose between pure and interdisciplinary directions, for example combining engineering and genetics, computer science and biology.
Many American universities are research centers, equipped with the most modern and excellent laboratories. During the study process, a lot of attention is paid to organizing the possibilities of applying what you have learned in practice.
The faculty of American universities is very strong. The professors who lecture are themselves actively engaged in scientific research. A student can choose the subjects that will allow him to develop within the chosen academic direction.
The educational process at American universities is flexible. With the help of academic advisors, students independently form their own curriculum. On the one hand, this allows you to study the subjects that the student finds most important and interesting for himself, on the other hand, it requires responsibility and involvement of the student.
American universities have close ties with large companies. During the education, students can interact with representatives of different industries and fields, as well as practice in the specialty of their choice.
Graduates of American universities quickly find good jobs and build successful careers in different countries of the world due to the skills and knowledge acquired during their studies. Education is not based on memorizing information, but on the ability to read material, analyze it, draw conclusions and make independent decisions.
It is not easy for foreign students to study in the United States, but the University does everything possible to make students feel comfortable. On campus, in addition to the dormitories, there are a variety of clubs and hobby areas, various sports and exercise facilities, a medical center, bank branches, cafes, small stores, etc.
How to Apply to Educational Institutions in the United States as an International Student
To enter an educational institution in the U.S., foreigners need to consider many important factors (from academic orientation to size and location), research the best offers from different schools, and make a list of the appropriate educational institutions and/or programs. After that, you will need to familiarize yourself with the requirements of each institution/program in order to begin education according to those requirements.
The preparation process usually takes about two years. It includes preparing to pass the standardized SAT or ACT tests (for undergraduate studies), the GRE or GMAT for graduate education, the TOEFL or IELTS language tests to assess the applicant's general knowledge level, and gathering the necessary documentation packages. In addition to test scores, the documentation package for foreign students entering U.S. schools typically includes
Questionnaires (application forms)
Academic documentation: secondary education certificate or diploma.
Grade point average (GPA).
Proof of funds for tuition, rent, meals, health insurance, and personal expenses.
An essay or letter of motivation explaining why you chose the United States and this particular university/program for your studies; undergraduate programs may require essays on other topics.
Letters of recommendation.
The 120-credit online course, designed for all academic levels, will help you choose a school and develop a clear plan of action to prepare you for admission to a U.S. college or university.
How much does it cost to study in a U.S. school?
Many foreigners choose to start their studies in U.S. schools to better prepare for the SAT and ACT entrance exams and to further their education in college. The country has more expensive private schools and affordable public schools.
Although you can get a free education in the U.S. at a public school, foreigners can only study in the U.S. for one year.
In private schools, it is possible to complete a full course of study and the quality of education in private schools in the U.S. is much higher. All private schools are paid and the cost of education ranges from $5,000 to $40,000 to $50,000 per year, just like the most expensive universities.
How much does it cost to study in college in the United States?
After high school, college is the cheapest in the United States.
There are two types of colleges in the United States.
Two-year colleges offer a practical, secondary professional education that first prepares you for work
4-year colleges are more like universities, they offer more serious professional theoretical and practical education, after which you can find a job or continue your studies at the university, counting the number of courses already completed
The cost of attending college in the United States is different. But a college education is almost always much cheaper than a university education.