GLOBAL OPTIONS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE UNIVERSITY
With English emerging as the dominant language of business, there has been a corresponding growth in the number of university options for students who wish to complete their degree in English. Countries, where accredited English language degrees are available, include:
- United Kingdom
- Unites States
The application process varies for each country, although some of the universities currently accept the Common Application, and the entrance criteria are dependent on where the student has completed high school. As is the case with in-state versus out-of-state tuition in the United States, the student’s residency determines the fee structure, primarily EU versus “international” for the European universities.
In Europe, a number of degrees are three rather than four years, which represents considerable savings. Applicants apply to a specific program, which is highly specialized. Unlike the US system, the options for taking courses outside the program of study or changing focus are limited. Unlike the U.S., Business, Law, Medicine and Veterinary Sciences are undergraduate degrees, although there are also graduate courses in these areas available in Europe.
A US undergraduate degree is a four-year degree and allows for much greater flexibility as students do not select their area of concentration or major, with the exception of engineering or nursing, until the end of the second year of studies. A number of the strongest US colleges or universities focus on the liberal arts, defined as the study of Humanistic areas such as English, History, Mathematics, Sciences and the Social Sciences. The goal of liberal arts is to strengthen students’ critical thinking, reasoning and intellectual skills rather than to teach professional skills. In a rapidly changing globalized world where today’s students are likely to change careers several times, intellectual flexibility and the ability to draw inferences and conclusions is crucial. The ability to sort the relevant from the irrelevant from the waves of information that bombards us is a critical skill. An American liberal arts education is excellent preparation for tomorrow’s adaptable global citizen.
Expanding options can lead to opportunity or confusion. As a first step, we suggest that student determine how committed he or she is to a specific program of study. Next, the family should consider factors such as cost, distance, future work options as well as personal preferences. The new NACAC guide Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country and the UCAS University Guide for UK Universities are good starting points. Mrs. Contomichalos and Mrs. Gatzionis are also available to help families navigate these options.