Bachelor’s education – USA or Europe?
Category : MS ACS
Given the stark differences between the education systems in USA and Europe and the lack of proper information to study (at the Bachelor’s level) in Europe, it is important to know facts about studying in either of these locations.
General Education is considered as ‘essential’ in US universities, which covers a broad range of programs such as Music, photography, sports and many other co-curricular and extra-curricular fields of activity. This will impart a strong base of students to study a wide range of programs – not only those that are academically important, but also personally interesting. Additionally, general education emphasizes skills such as writing and critical thinking and expose students to a variety of subject areas. Also, students can choose a major after two years of studying, in the meanwhile explore their field of interest.
In European countries, this type of general education is not available and students who are joining the Bachelor’s programs are expected to ‘choose’ a focus area while applying for colleges. This will severely restrict the learning capability of students who may want to explore more areas and wider fields of learning to decide on their career direction. While it helps to choose a subject from the start and able to focus on those areas in-depth and prepare for the job market or for continuing onto a master’s degree, it also has its disadvantages”.
European bachelor’s degrees are three-year programs that are too structured, which doesn’t give students a lot of freedom to explore.
Also, ‘liberal arts’ education emphasizing on learning in subjects such as social sciences, arts, and humanities are available in all US universities/colleges, whereas European universities rarely offer such an option. This restricts the learning ability and choice of students, who want to explore multiple options before they decide on a particular ‘major’ or specialization to continue with their studies. Of course, for international students who are ready with a focus, going for a 3-year degree, directly into their chosen field of study could be an advantage.
Another advantage is US colleges is the scope to internationalize their learning, participation in various events through student-clubs and a better campus life. Comparatively, European colleges offer limited scope for such wider participation and exposure.
Most importantly, except in the UK, almost all other countries offer education in their native language (non-English), which is a major deterrent for Bachelor’s applicants. While most European universities are offering Master’s level education in English, very few are offering at the Bachelor’s level. Such problem does not exist in US universities since the medium of education is only English.
Finally, for those international students with merit, financial aid is possible even at the Bachelor’s level in most US universities. Though rare and difficult, funding is a good possibility for top-performing students here. Whereas, in Europe, financial aid is virtually difficult, if not impossible.
It is therefore important for international students to choose the country/continent to make a very informed decision to invest huge sums of money into their education and ultimately their career.
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US Visas – A Round-up! –
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