The US education system is characterized by its abundance of choice and flexibility. It offers a lot of opportunities and options for international students. Every student can find a way to achieve his academic goals and have a wonderful learning experience in the US.
Most of the international students choose to start studying in the US from either secondary school, undergraduate, or graduate level. Some students go to the US for short-term exchange programs.
Primary and Secondary Education
Students attend American elementary school and secondary school for a total of 12 years. Students usually begin primary school at the age of 6.
Secondary education comprises middle school and high school. Students completing Grade 12 can be awarded with a high school graduate diploma.
An academic year usually starts in August or September in the US. Normally an academic year is divided into two or three semesters. Most US schools use the Grade Point Average (GPA) as their grading system to evaluate students’ academic performance.
High school graduates can further their studies either at a university/college which offers four-year undergraduate programs, or a community college which offers 2-year associate degree programs.
After completing an associate degree program, students can apply for transfer admission to Year 3 undergraduate programs and transfer the credits awarded by community college.
Some US universities offer fast-track or accelerated programs for high-performing students to start their undergraduate studies early or complete their degree programs in a shorter time frame.
Graduate Education and Professional Degrees
A university graduate with a bachelor’s degree can further his study in the graduate school. For particular professional degrees, such as law, medicine, and dentistry, they are considered as graduate-level programs in the US and one of the admissions requirements is the possession of an undergraduate degree.