The U.S. Education System
Unlike many countries, the United States does not have a single educational program: in general, the program forms the board of education under the state government, or more precisely, the board that decides on a particular school.
Schooling in the United States is divided into three stages.
Elementary school (grades 1-5) - children learn the basic required subjects and participate in sports and creativity.
Secondary: Middle school (grades 6-8) or junior high (grades 7-9) - in addition to the required subjects, elective subjects emerge.
Upper School: 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 stage of American school has its own building and is a completely separate educational institution.
Higher Education in the United States
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.
Advantages of studying in the United States
Flexible approach to learning
What makes the American education system different from what you are used to is the degree of freedom given to students. If in a European university a student starts to delve into a certain specialization from the first year, in an American university he is free to develop his curriculum according to his preferences, choosing up to a third of the subjects he studies. Thanks to this, the future bachelor cannot waste time on subjects that do not interest him, but tries himself in different areas to identify the most attractive ones.
With a proper choice of courses, the graduate has not only specialized knowledge, but also a set of soft skills corresponding to his professional interests that will help him succeed in his career. For example, a future lawyer will have a good grasp of speech and argument theory.
Many opportunities to practice
Already within the framework of education, American students have many opportunities to develop skills in practice. For example, future financiers are provided with a budget to learn how to trade on the stock exchange in a university trading room with all the necessary equipment, while aspiring filmmakers have cameras, lights, permits, actors from neighboring colleges and their own movie theater for screenings .
Most universities have established close ties with employers and have developed internship and employment assistance programs. During the first year of study, foreign students are entitled to work on campus and thereafter - and beyond. After graduation, you can participate in the professional internship program, which allows you to find a job in your field of expertise for 12-36 months.
American University attracts the best professors from around the world to collaborate with. Lectures are provided by renowned experts and researchers who share cutting-edge discoveries and practical information that has not yet been published in any textbook. American teachers try to present this material in an exciting way and accompany the lectures with lively examples and jokes.
In the U.S., students are accustomed to not sitting down and taking notes on the teacher's words, but rather engaging in dialogue with them and asking questions. Open expression of opinion and rational discussion are encouraged thanks to the active participation of students in the learning process.
Some of the most talented and ambitious young people from around the world are working hard to get into American universities. U.S. campuses enjoy a reputation for having dozens of clubs, fraternities and other activities that unite college students into one big family. As a result, students will not only expand their cultural horizons, but also make dozens of friendships, academic and business connections.
Studying in the United States lays down many qualities that can help you succeed in work and life. A high level of academic load fosters diligence, a lack of judgment about mistakes and encourages diversity to help self-expression and creativity develop. Moving to another country, away from the demands of home life and the freedom of choice offered by college increases a student's independence and sense of responsibility.
How to Apply to Educational Institutions in the United States
Requirements for foreign students to enter U.S. universities vary depending on the subject area, program, the university's position in the rankings, and competition for places. Regardless of the competition, most U.S. universities will require a letter of motivation, letters of recommendation, proof of English language proficiency, and documentation of previous education.
Letter of Motivation
In this essay, the applicant talks about his career goals and how the program he will attend will help him achieve those goals. This is probably the most important document for admission to most U.S. universities. In motivation letter self-preparation materials, you can read how to get started and how to plan an essay, as well as examples of successful motivation letters.
Letters of Recommendation
A recommendation or reference from a teacher or employer for a student is a mandatory document for admission to all programs of study at any level. Usually, the applicant himself must write the body of the letter in order to provide it to the recommender for verification and signature. The material for writing a letter of recommendation to a foreign university will help with this task.
A resume or CV is required when applying to foreign universities for master's and some bachelor's programs. this is an opportunity to talk about the applicant's strengths and achievements that are not shown in other admissions application documents.
Try to put your CV on a piece of A4 paper and write down not only where and when you worked, but also the results.
Documents confirming previous education
If there are no documents confirming previous education, applicants cannot be enrolled. If the certificate of completion of secondary education or the bachelor's degree is not received at the time of application, the applicant sends an extract with the results and their translation to the university.