The children study in the USA for 12 years – from 5-6 years old to 17-18. The age of enrolment of foreign students to study in the United States in school, each educational institution determines independently. In some cases, children are accepted from the age of 7, but few parents are ready to send a child abroad at this age, so, as a rule, children of 13-14 or 16-17 years old come.
Grades 12 are divided into Elementary school (1-5), Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12). All these stages of studying (primary, secondary, senior classes) are separate educational institutions, and each of them inside also resembles an academic campus. Educational institutions are located separately from each other, each has its own director, teachers, administration.
There is no single state standard of education in the USA. The formation of the curriculum in the most general form (a list of the main disciplines, the dates of the beginning and end of the academic year) is handled by the Board of Education under the state administration. At the same time, all the specifics, such as textbooks, the volume and nature of the material taught, are determined by school employees themselves.
Specifics of studying in international schools in US
As it was mentioned above, secondary education in the USA has a 3-step structure. At the age of 5-6 years, the child enters elementary school, where he studies until the 6th grade. The primary school curriculum usually includes several academic disciplines (arithmetic, reading, writing, basic science), as well as music, physical education and drawing.
At the age of 11-12 years old, the middle school starts. The foreign students are required to study mathematics, English, history, and natural sciences. In addition, each student is offered 2-3 elective subjects (foreign languages, art, etc.). Even more freedom in terms of the choice of subjects is provided to the children by the high school in US. From grades 9 to 12 (14-18 years old), students independently form their own curriculum, there are even more additional subjects. As a rule, by this time children already have a more or less idea of what they want to do in the future, and choose those disciplines which knowledge is necessary for admission to university.
For the last 2 years of high school, the foreign students have been preparing for the final SAT test, based on the results of which they are enrolled in college, and also, if desired, attend advanced study courses in some of the subjects – Advanced Placement (AP). The AP program, as a rule, corresponds to the program of the first year of study at the university, so that after admission, the university can count this course as already completed.
Academic performance monitoring in schools in US
In America, a letter rating system is used: A, B, C, D, F, where A is the highest grade, and F is the lowest. By the way, each of the estimates, except for F, can be accompanied by a + or – sign. Based on school grades, an average GPA (grade point average) is formed. This indicator is usually required when applying to university.
Another important form of performance monitoring in the school system in the United States is the test. American children get acquainted with the annual testing procedure closer to the end of elementary school. The test results affect how prestigious the next educational institution will be in a child’s life. The better the student studied in middle school, the higher the high school will be. The higher the scores in high school, the higher the GPA, which means more chances to get into a good college.
Extracurricular activities in the best private schools in US
The goal of the secondary education system in the USA is to educate a versatile person with an active lifestyle. Therefore, in American schools, much attention is paid to the extracurricular activities of the student. The children spend a lot of time in an educational institution – and it’s not about the number of lessons at all.
The children are actively engaged in sports: physical education lessons end with American schoolchildren in middle school. High school students do not have “physical education”. Every high school student chooses the sport that is most interesting to him and does it quite professionally. Fortunately, the technical equipment of educational institutions (gyms, courts, football and basketball fields) allows you to practice at the highest level.
In addition to sports, there are usually many interest clubs based on the American school: someone plays in the theater, another attends a debate club, a third studies the basics of painting.
Schools in US fees for foreign students
The cost of studying depends on the ranking, state, prestige, history of educational institution, program, extracurricular activities: on average, a year of study costs from $ 40,000 to $ 70,000. The best schools in USA include accommodation, meals, extracurricular activities, clubs, educational materials, English courses for foreign students, preparation for final exams.
TOP schools in US – ranking of 10
- The Lawrenceville School
- Phillips Exeter Academy
- Lakeside School
- The Latin School of Chicago
- Albuquerque Academy
- Detroit Country Day School
- Harvard-Westlake School
- The Harker School
- The College Preparatory School
- Polytechnic School.