Good/Bad side of US Education System; Discuss the good and bad side of the education system in the U.S
What are the Pros of the US Education System
With a country, comprised of 50 states spreading on an entire continent, you can imagine the overwhelming range of courses and majors that are at your disposal, and, with English being the universal language, you can practically choose any area of study in any university. Another positive side of the US education system is that, with such a big potential, there is a considerable chance for you to find a program, which best suits your interests. In addition, as an international student in the US, you may find a program, which is looking for candidates from your region. Good/Bad side of US Education System
The US education system has a lot of diversity programs which encourage students from all over the world to apply. This is a golden opportunity for the student communities which belong to the underdeveloped countries to gain international experience, thus helping them improve their quality of life in return.
Further to this, the universities also offer different funding options in order to encourage international applications, thus filling their quota and raising their international and domestic recognition. There is also a high regard for sports education in the US education system and there are a lot of scholarships aimed at developing the athletes’ potential. Good/Bad side of US Education System
2. Flexibility of Education
The US education system is one of most diverse in the world. Students have unlimited choices on what they could study. Usually the U.S. universities offer you the possibility to experiment with different courses in the first two years of your education, as opposed to European universities, where you pick a specific subject with predefined curriculum and you follow it throughout your studies.
This diversification in the US education system allows you to gain a different perspective and to avoid spending money on something that you don’t want to study. It also encourages you to broaden your knowledge on other fields so you could better develop your skills and personality. For instance, if you are studying to be a lawyer, you might want to cover courses for public speaking, reasoning and argumentation, literature, PR; instead of only covering courses that are directly connected to your subject. Good/Bad side of US Education System
Another interesting feature of the US Education system is the focus on the development of an all-round state of mind. This means that your talents are recognized and nurtured by encouraging you to participate in extracurricular and outdoor activities, round tables, researches etc. In addition, U.S universities provide up to date facilities and advanced technologies, which are being developed onsite and can be used for work on government and private projects.
3. Academia and student life
Because of the high standard, many US universities attract the best and brightest of the scholars around the world. You will have the opportunity to meet and speak with researchers, who are on top in their respective field, which will give you access to knowledge and contacts that you otherwise will miss. Good/Bad side of US Education System
In addition, visiting professors will not only read lectures but will also expect from you to get in touch with them, so you could share your thoughts.
In this regard, academic life in the U.S may be more hands-on and interactive than the one in other countries. In class, students may be expected to express their opinion and the lecture itself is in open form. This creates an environment that tolerates discussions and dialogue.
Usually, the student life is situated mostly on the campus. The dormitories are also located there. Commonly the campus is outside of the city or in a designated area. There, one can also find the necessary utilities, restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.
Since you will be spending most of your time on the campus, the student life is regarded more like a community, where you can interact with other students; engage in different activities, clubs and organizations.
We strongly recommend you to get involved in such activities, as they will help you with the cultural integration and will create opportunities for friendships, collaboration and academic ties. Good/Bad side of US Education System
4. Global recognition
With some exceptions, US universities are highly regarded around the globe and candidates with US Diplomas have better chance to be picked by Employers.
In a survey for top universities in the world from 2014, 40 out of 100 universities are located in the U.S, 7 of which are in the top 10. Good/Bad side of US Education System
What are some of the Cons of the US Education System?
1. Diversity as a negative
Each state follows a different curriculum of courses creating students of varying standards of education. A subject from one university may vary significantly from the same subject in another.
This creates gaps in the education and in the knowledge in general, which lead to certain universities becoming more favored by employers and thus raising the inequality in the workforce.
One paper shows the undergraduate tuition and living expenses in MIT:
Nine months’ tuition for 2014–2015 is $43,720. In addition, undergraduate room and board is approximately $13,224 depending on the student’s housing and dining arrangements. Books and personal expenses are about $2,790.
In addition, due to the immigration status of the international students, the possibilities for student loan are limited.
3. Holistic admission process
Compared to other countries, the admission process in the U.S is rather complicated.
Students need to have more than good academic record in order to qualify for the top universities. They need to do well both academically and socially, participating in activities that help the community, like volunteer work, science and art projects.
Participation in competitions and contests are also required.
Another side is the need to cover standardized tests. Most U.S. colleges require that you take one or more admission tests in order to be eligible for their programs.
Such tests as SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, TOEFL or IELTS, which are not always available in other countries or online.
4. Social benefits and work
The greatest disadvantage of being an international student in the US is the limited accessibility to benefit from programs like social security, healthcare or other types of benefits offered by the government for US citizens.
In order to obtain social security, you will need a social security number (SSN), which is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to qualify, you will need a letter from the International Social Service (ISS). In order to receive an ISS letter, you must bring a job offer letter to ISS, showing that you already have a job, regulated by the F-1 international student visa.
As for healthcare, each university offers its own system, which may vary in standard or in the provided services. Smaller colleges may offer only basic coverage for general illness, where others may offer full package.
In any case, you are required to sign with the healthcare plan of your university. Once you can no longer use it, you can turn to the other side. However, it is good to know that the U.S does not provide socialized healthcare and the treatment is very expensive.
Work options are also limited and are regulated by the F-1 international student work visa. For more information visit here
In the end, despite the high tuition fees and the bureaucratic process, the US education system offers diverse possibilities for personal, professional and academic growth, which are globally recognized. The system praises individuality and encourages self-sustainability. It attracts highly qualified personnel, who relies on communication with the students. The US education system, although not very diversified, offers the possibility of cultural integration where differences are welcomed and students live as a community.