Early Childhood Education in the United States
In the United States, preschoolers are educated in nurseries and kindergartens. You can send your child to them from the age of 6 months. Kindergartens in the USA are fee-based and cost an average of $1,000-$1,400 per month. In such institutions, children spend almost the whole day, from morning to 17-18 hours. For older preschoolers, there are preparatory groups where children attend classes. They focus on teaching reading, getting ready for school and socializing future students. Preschool in the United States is optional - there is no need to attend kindergarten or preparatory classes. The U.S. education system means that education is compulsory. Education begins at the age of five to eight (depending on the country) and lasts for twelve years.
Schools in the United States
The American education system does not have a single program: its general regulations are set at the state level and determined in detail at each particular school.
The school year in the United States begins in September and ends in the summer - at the end of June. Usually children study five days a week, with a maximum of eight hours of classes per day and a mandatory lunch break.
Summer - July and August.
Winter - Christmas, February.
Fall - four days of Thanksgiving.
Spring - April (one week).
Before entering elementary school, prospective students take an entrance exam. This is a written test, which shows the level of development and intelligence and helps to determine the child's abilities. Depending on the results of the test, students are placed in different classes.
A foreign national may attend elementary school if the child resides in the United States. He may live with a guardian or parent.
The length of study at this level is five or six years, depending on the country. The curriculum is free-form, with children sitting at desks near the end of elementary school. The main subjects - math, reading, English, natural science, literature - are taught by a single teacher. In addition to them, children study art and engage in creativity and sports. Such classes are taught by other teachers.
This stage is divided into two phases: middle school and high school. A unified educational program - from the sixth to the eighth grade. For high school, each educational institution develops independently.
Starting with the eighth grade, students can choose the subjects they want to study. In addition, they must teach mathematics, social and natural sciences, history, English, and art. They can also study foreign languages.
Schoolchildren in the United States not only attend classes, but also participate in school sports, join circles, hobby clubs, and engage in socially useful work. This is a mandatory part of secondary education, which provides children with the necessary social skills and ensures harmonious personal development.
At this stage, talented students can choose advanced courses in individual subjects. Much attention is given to the independent study of individual subjects.
Another feature of American secondary schools is the credit system. Students earn credits, which are later taken into account when entering college. For the study of a subject during the semester, students earn 2.5 credits - 5 credits during the academic year.
Students in grades 9-12 are required to study mathematics, natural and social sciences, English, physical education and art. Education is not only theoretical: students perform laboratory work, practical tasks.
In addition to the required school courses, students can choose other subjects that they will need when they enter college to study their chosen major. Popular elective courses include.
Foundations of a healthy lifestyle.
Fundamentals of doing business.
Informatics, computer science.
In the last 2 years, talented students can take college prerequisite courses. Often the subjects studied in AP correspond to level 1 or even level 2 courses at the university. Successful completion of college prerequisite courses facilitates students' entry into American universities as well as many British, German, Israeli, and Canadian universities.
In some cases, universities may immediately recredit AP subjects during the first year of college study.
At the end of high school, U.S. students must take the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT.
Their scores will be taken into account when entering institutions of higher education, universities.
The U.S. Higher Education System
Like schools, U.S. universities do not have a uniform educational program. Standards are set at the state level. Usually, students study general education subjects for the first two years and specialization begins in the third year. This makes studying at an American university particularly attractive: during the first two years of study, a student can change his major.
Undergraduate studies in the United States
This is the initial stage of higher education. Students study for 4 years, while they can choose their own courses. The study conditions are flexible and there are exams after graduation. Depending on their results, graduates receive a bachelor's degree.
This is the next stage, aimed at acquiring deeper theoretical knowledge or improving practical skills. Upon graduation, students receive a master's degree. For this, they write and defend a thesis.
In order to teach in higher education institutions and build a career as a researcher or scientist, students need to obtain a PhD. Doctoral studies last about three to four years, during which students engage in research activities and write a doctoral dissertation.
Studying in the U.S.: Types of International Student Housing
Once you receive confirmation of your acceptance to a U.S. university, the International Department will send you information about the types of housing available to you. Some U.S. universities offer on-campus student housing, or on-campus housing, for international students.
The housing usually consists of several buildings within walking distance of the university's main buildings and library. In the residence halls, students live one, two or three at a time. Facilities can be either in the room or on the floor. Of course, the price in question also depends on the type of room. However, whichever room you choose, you can enjoy a comfortable stay in a new or renovated building with free Internet, recreational facilities and a comfortable student atmosphere.
The main advantages of this type of housing: security; proximity to the University; no electricity, water or Internet charges.
Disadvantages: higher price compared to other types of accommodation; usually, you can't cook for yourself (only if you don't rent a studio-type room with a kitchenette for one person); maybe you will have a neighbor (ka) with whom you need to learn how to get along.
Renting a room
If your university does not offer student accommodation to international students, or if you do not want to use this option, the International Department can also help you find accommodation for rent - an apartment or room. On the university's website, there is usually a bulletin board: there you can find rooms in apartments where other students of your university live. Of course, this option is much cheaper than renting a whole apartment.
Before you sign an agreement with your landlord (usually the agreement lasts for a year), research the area where your future house is located: how far away the university is, how public transportation works, whether there are grocery stores nearby. Facebook or the university intranet has an online map and student community where you can ask questions. Please read carefully before signing the lease agreement. Please note that electricity and internet costs are usually not included in the rent and are your responsibility.
Main advantages of this type of accommodation: very cheap if you share an apartment with 2-3 other students; teaches you to be independent; each apartment has a kitchen so you can cook your own meals.
Disadvantages: the distance from the university varies a lot; you will have to take care of the internet connection and possibly electricity; if you want to save money, this involves the presence of neighbors with whom you will need to agree on the rules of cohabitation.
American homestays are a great option for young students and anyone who wants to learn about American culture and understand the average American lifestyle. If you choose this type of accommodation, you will be matched with a family within a 20-45 minute drive from campus. You will have your own room and breakfast, lunch and dinner or breakfast and dinner included in the room rate.
Homestay living is a comfortable and family atmosphere away from home, as well as additional daily practice in spoken English.
The main advantages of this type of accommodation are: safety; lower cost compared to living on campus; no bills to pay and no meals to cook.
Additional Costs You Need to Consider Related to Studying in the U.S.
In order to realistically assess the cost of studying in the U.S., it is important to remember that the prices shown by U.S. universities usually do not include living expenses, which are the second largest part of the cost.
Ultimately the cost of studying in the United States is also affected by various additional fees and commissions that are always charged to students: passing some classes instead of being in the classroom, various services on campus, various consulting services. Thus, for example, foreign students are required to pay an introductory fee for beginners. In addition, a certain and sometimes quite significant amount - up to $2,000 per month - is deducted from students for participation in student clubs and other activities.
For U.S. citizens, tuition at a public university in their state would be the most economical option. Unfortunately, international students and even Americans living outside the state where the university is located are not eligible for the price advantage - they will pay twice or three times the cost of a U.S. education.
How much does it cost to study in a U.S. school?
The cost of a secondary education in the U.S. depends on the type of school. For foreigners, a public school education can be free for no more than one year - this is required by law. With paid programs for foreign students, the opportunity to go to the U.S. increases, in which case the cost of education will be $4,000-$8,000.
At private schools in US, the average annual study is $25,000; at boarding schools, it starts at $40,000.
Your Allterra Education Manager will tell you more about public and private schools in the U.S. and the pros and cons of studying at these schools.
What is the cost of higher education in the United States?
On average, it ranges from $10,000 to $70,000. The cost of education depends on many factors: the type of institution, the program, and the level of education.