Uni in the United States - A Detailed Explainer

July 18, 2020Klein E

Have you considered applying to study at Uni in the United States? The USA has many of the best universities in the world, from Ivy-league research universities like Princeton and Harvard to largest state universities like UC-Berkeley to small liberal arts schools like Swarthmore, which are often called colleges in the United States! Confusing, right? Here’s a brief explainer to answer some of the questions you might have about studying in the United States.

First, a full Bachelor’s degree at an American university is typically four years. You do not apply to a specific course. The first two years are spent fulfilling core liberal arts courses and prerequisite courses. The last two years are focused on major courses. This gives students who are not sure what they want to study a chance to explore different fields and gives all students an interdisciplinary grounding. Scientists must take writing courses, and history students also take math classes!

Second, everything is backwards in the Northern Hemisphere! American universities begin the academic year in August-September at the end of their summer. Their application round is usually the preceding fall and winter (October to December). For most American Universities, the application deadline is January 1 of the year you wish to begin the study. For example, if you wish to start in September 2018, you must apply by January 1, 2018, at the latest.

Finally, most American universities do not admit students only on exam scores. Many American schools consider extracurricular activities, exam scores, a personal essay, and an interview in the application process. Some schools even offer full scholarships to students with athletic, musical, or artistic merit, giving you a chance to attend Uni completely free! This gives students who may not excel in exams but have other special talents or passions a chance to shine.

For most 17 or 18-year-olds, applying to study and attending university abroad is a scary thing and a big commitment. The application process is very different, and once accepted you commit to travelling thousands of miles away from friends and family. But the rewards are enormous: you can receive a fantastic education and make friends from around the world!

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Klein E

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