Education in America
The schooling system differs from what we are used to in the United Kingdom. Education in America on average is longer, the length of time a student will study in university is also a lot longer in comparison to the UK. Compulsory education in America start with Kindergarten at ages 3 until 6. Once your child is 18 they should have completed all compulsory education and has the option to progress to university.
There are private and state schools in America. The decision whether to send your child to a private or governmental institution depends on the financial situation of the family. Private schools have a reputation of being very expensive and not many can afford to send their children here. However, studying here combines prestige and an excellent education and is highly reputable. A more criticised type of education is Homeschooling. Similarly to the UK this type of education is frowned upon with one reason being due to the child not being able to interact with other children their age.
The levels of education are as follows:
- Kindergarten: group 1 and 2
- Elementary school: group 3 to 8
- Middle School (Junior High School): class 1 and 2
- High School: class 3 to class 6
Most children in America start at ages 6 and attend this level of school for 5 year depending on the state. Students at this level learn how to read, write, do mathematics, history, English and other core subjects. A lot of school also offer a foreign language. Class sizes also vary but on average there are around 20 children in a class. School usually lasts approximately 6 hours including a lunch and break
Middle and high school
Middle school starts from ages 11 to 14. This stage of education is when pupils can choose their own
subjects they wish to study. After this age children will attend high school at the age of 15. Students are placed in different classes with different difficulties depending on their level. Education in America is compulsory until the age of 16 or 18. After high school is completed students have these option to attend college or university which is known as higher education.
The grading system and GPA in the U.S. can be confusing, especially for international students. The interpretation of grades has a lot of variation. For example 2 students from different schools could receive the same grade. The student who was from a more prestigious school will be higher valued as expectations at their school will also be higher. Similarly to the UK the school calendar usually begins in August or September and continues through May or June.
Studying in America
Higher education similarly to the UK is not mandatory in the US. Many universities in America have amazing reputations and are with some of the top in the World. This factor encourages many students to continue with higher education to have the opportunity to be accepted into prestigious universities such as: Harvard, Yale, Preston or MIT. Find out more information on our page about top 10 universities in America
The main issue with higher education is however the immense study fees. On average a standard university costs more than $35,000 annually. Many students are must borrow loans and takes years to pay off their debts.
Considerations when studying in America
School in America can be very expensive, but this is something that is common in the UK. Scholarships however are available, and there are many different types available. University grades are different in America where percentages instead of variations of numbers represent grades like in the UK.