The students will be able to compare and contrast American and British universities with a focus on (1) academic terms, (2) admissions, (3) cost, (4) crime, (5) curriculum, (6) economy, (7) extracurricular activities, (8) food and drink, (9) housing, (10) immigration, (11) transportation and (12) types of degrees.
1.0) Academic Term
Quarter System vs. Semester System
What is a quarter system?
What is a semester system?
What is a trimester system?
1.1) American Academic Term
Most US schools use the semester system, but some use a trimester or quarter system.
Most US schools start in mid to late August and end in May.
1.2) British Academic Term
Most British schools use a semester system, but some use trimester or quarter systems.
The start and end of an academic year varies by university.
2.1) American Admissions
A number of universities, including some top schools such as Harvard and Yale, are part of the Common Application system which permits online applications to more than 465 affiliated institutions.
As part of your application, you may need to sit an admission exam, either the SAT (Standard Assessment Test) or ACT (American College Testing) – both standard tests for US college admission.
Universities will also request a transcript listing your marks, as well as up to three letters of reference.
Finally, you will complete two or three essays covering the admissions criteria.
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2.2) British Admissions
All institutions in Britain require the same application, known as the Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) application.
Students may apply to only five schools each year and, limited by the universal application, they may not tailor their essays or any part of the application to a particular institution.
Introduction to UCAS and writing your personal statement
Britain accepts the ACT and SAT but students may have to take specialized academic tests for particular colleges.
For example, the Modern and Medieval Languages Test is required by the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages of the University of Cambridge.
2.3) Which country has the more convenient admissions process?
3.1) Great Britain has a higher cost of living than the US.
3.2) American Tuition Cost
The cost of college is generally much higher than in Britain.
3.3) British Tuition Cost
The cost of college tuition is generally lower than in the US.
Overall, the US is more expensive than Great Britain.
3.4) Which country is less expensive?
4.1) American Crime
US has a higher overall crime rate than Britain.
Crimes of property in the US slightly higher than in the Britain.
The US has a much higher violent crime rate than Britain.
Campus safety is an important issue.
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4.2) British Crime
Britain has a lower overall crime rate than the US.
Crimes of property in Britain are slightly lower than in the US.
Britain has a much lower violent crime rate than the US but more knifings per million than in the US.
Due to less violence overall, campus safety is less important.
4.3) Which country is safer?
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5.1) American Curriculum
The grade is based on overall performance on all assignments.
There are many small assignments.
There is more homework than in Britain.
There are General Education (GE) classes.
There are more electives in the American curriculum than the British curriculum.
Universities are often divided into schools by subject, but these schools do not typically have a lot of autonomy from the university.
There is more breadth in the American curriculum.
5.2) British Curriculum
The grade is based mostly on the final exam.
There is less homework than in the US.
There are no General Education (GE) classes.
There are less electives in the British curriculum than the American curriculum.
University acts an umbrella organization for the different colleges. Colleges are fairly independent of one another.
There is more depth in the British curriculum.
6.1) American Economy
US economy is larger than the British economy.
The US has a mixed economy.
6.2) British Economy
British economy is much smaller.
The service sector dominates the British economy.
6.3) Which country has a bigger economy?
7.1) American Extracurricular
Extracurricular activities are more important in the US than in Britain.
Greek life exists in the US.
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Athletic scholarships are available.
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7.2) British Extracurricular
Extracurricular activities are less important in Britain in the US.
There is no Greek life in Britain.
There are generally no athletic scholarships available.
8.0) Food & Drink
BRITISH VS. AMERICAN FOOD!
UK vs USA Grocery Stores
Whose Drinking Age Is Better? U.S. vs UK!
College Meal Plans – UNT West Dining Hall
8.1) American Food & Drink
The use of meal plans is common in the US.
The drinking age is 21 in the US.
8.2) British Food & Drink
Britain uses catered or self-catered halls.
The drinking age is 18 in Britain.
8.3) Which country has a lower drinking age?
8.4) Which country has a higher drinking age?
Pros and Cons: Having a College Roommate
9.1) American Housing
Roommates are common in the US.
On campus housing is more common in the US than in Britain.
9.2) British Housing
Roommates are less common in Britain.
After first years Brits generally move off campus
9.3) Which country has more on campus housing?
10.1) American Immigration
U.S. Immigration Explained
There is no equivalent to EU or Commonwealth citizenship in the US!
10.2) British Immigration
Immigration: how do British views differ?
11.1) American Transportation
Mass transportation not widely available.
Student may need a car at some universities.
Why The U.S. Has The Worst Public Transit System
11.2) British Transportation
Mass transportation widely available. Students probably do not need a car at most universities.
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11.3) Which country has more mass transportation?
12.0) Types of Degrees
12.1) American Types of Degrees
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Bachelors – 4 years
Masters – 2 years
PhD 4-7 years
12.2) British Types of Degrees
Higher National Diploma
Certificate of Higher Education
Diploma of Higher Education
Bachelors – 3 years
Masters – 1 year
PhD – 3 years
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