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American education is famous throughout the world. It is believed that if a person has a degree from an American university, he is an excellent specialist, a master of his craft, and there will be no problems with getting a job. The education system in the States is not very different from the world, but there are a number of peculiarities which those who are going to study there need to know. It is worth noting that the country does not have the same system, each state establishes its own structure.
The U.S. education system
The education system in the U.S. has a compulsory twelve-year program, based on the length of schooling it is called “K-12”. This includes elementary and high school education.
The entire process of educating the younger generation is primarily the responsibility of the state, local government, and federal agencies. They have a regulatory function, controlling the order and performance of educational institutions, as well as the financing of schools and the employment of teachers. Authorities must strictly enforce the rights and responsibilities of all involved.
Normally, children are introduced to society at the age of three when they enter kindergartens. Usually, preschools are established on the basis of elementary schools and function within their classrooms. Or they are founded as a separate institution similar to foreign kindergartens. Parents usually have to pay a lot of money for the services of preschools, because almost all preschools in the country are private. However, low-income families also have the opportunity to send their child to kindergartens – for this purpose there is a program Head Start. It is aimed at paying for kindergarten services if parents are unable to do so themselves. Sometimes migrant children who do not speak English well, orphans, and children of military personnel go to kindergartens for free.
In elementary school the child not only begins to learn how to interact with others, as he or she did in kindergarten, but also gets introduced to various subjects, including physical education, visual arts, music, natural science, mathematics, oral and written English, geography and social studies. It usually takes six to seven years to complete elementary school, and subjects are divided into different stages of study. American students study all core subjects with one teacher, who also acts as a class teacher. The only exceptions are physical education, music, and fine arts.
American students start in early September and finish US schools in late May or early June. In general, Americans study almost a month less than students in most European countries.
When children move to middle school, it is assumed that they already have a basic knowledge base and have already roughly decided what direction they would like to go in the future. In middle school, each subject is taught by a different teacher. Art history, world history, technology, and optional foreign languages are added to the list of required subjects. If a student feels a strong aptitude for particular subjects, he/she may attend additional classes or take elective classes.
There are two phases of high school in U.S. institutions. The second stage is usually called high school, although it is more correct to call it the second stage of high school. Young Americans become high school seniors at age 14 and graduate at about 17 to 19. This time is characterized by a special freedom of choice and self-expression of students. Teenagers are not forbidden to actively attend sections, even if he devotes more time to them than to general subjects. As for the disciplines themselves, students are free to choose the focus of their studies and make their own schedule. The main thing is that during the high school student passed:
- chemistry, biology, and physics – at least one year in each discipline;
- History and Social Science – at least two to four years in total;
- mathematics – at least three years;
- physical education – at least two years;
- foreign languages – two to four years in total;
- literature – four years.
How much is schools in USA fees is an important question for parents of students and prospective students. The cost of education in the United States is quite high:
⦁ boarding schools cost between $15,000 and $20,000 per year,
⦁ one academic year in a prestigious college – from 35 to 60 thousand dollars.
Thus, prices depend largely on a site and a rating of educational institution, the chosen specialty and the program.
Two-year colleges and community colleges are the cheapest at $17,000 a year (this includes living expenses, insurance, food, transportation, etc.).
Some higher education programs are much more expensive, including medicine, business, and IT.
There are many ways to reduce the cost of education in America, such as various scholarships and grants for honors students and gifted children. Also, international students in higher education programs are eligible to work part-time on campus.
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