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UK vs USA College Education

Difference is between studying in UK and studying in US

Have you been contemplating adding an overseas degree to your resume and are you trying to decide between UK and US for your university choice? Have you often wondered what the real difference is between studying in UK and studying in US for higher education? Well, although both UK and USA boast of excellent education systems with the world's top ranked universities, there are many differences between studying in UK and studying in USA and it is advisable to take a look at them to know which will be better for you and to help you make an informed choice. We take a look at some of the most common differences.

Cost of education in UK & USA

Although the cost of higher education is expensive in both US and UK, tuition cost in the United States is comparatively higher. Both UK and WE universities have different fee structures for their resident students and international students. The government of UK places some restrictions on the fees that can be charged to UK and EU residents. These restrictions however are not applicable for international students. There are also difference in fees for private and public universities in the USA.

[Read More: UK Visa: No Job Offer Needed for International Graduates Now]

Duration of the Course for Study in USA & UK

One of the most significant distinctions between the US, and UK education system is the length of time taken to obtain your degree. The undergraduate and post graduate degree programs in US generally require an additional year of study, when compared to similar programs in UK. Both countries give students the option of moving directly to doing a PhD after under graduation. However in UK a student would normally complete post graduate studies before doing a PhD. Also courses in UK are shorter and more focused than the ones in USA.

Academic year

Many universities in America use the semester system and start their academic year in the middle of or around the ending weeks of August. Some liberal arts colleges opt to start their academic calendar later in the year. Most universities in USA break for a winter vacation which extends from second week of December to second week of January. Some universities also prefer to start their winter break earlier in the month of November around Thanksgiving. The academic calendar in UK also uses the semester system. Many universities have a longer academic year than in USA as they start in September or October. The academic calendar in UK is not as standardized as the one in USA and many universities follow their own calendar and can have either a semester, trimester or quarterly systems.

University Structure

The UK education system uses the collegiate structure of universities, wherein the universities are comprised of different colleges each of which is dedicated to a specific subject. Each college is governed by its parent university, but at the same time retain a lot of autonomy in its day to day business. A student applying for a course of study in UK will apply to the college he intends to study in directly. He would have very little interaction with the parent university, living, studying and eating within the college and interacting with students from his own college. In contrast, Universities in USA are comprised of different departments or schools such as school of medicine and school of arts which teach various related courses. A student applying to study in USA, would apply to the university rather than to the individual department. Another distinction is that in USA you are expected to take classes which are outside your chosen field of study, which is not the case in UK. The emphasis in USA is on the breadth of education where a student is expected to gain knowledge on a variety of subjects, whereas in UK, the emphasis is on gaining a thorough understanding of a single subject.

[Read More: Time to Get Ready for Applying to Colleges in USA for Fall 2022]


Although universities in both USA and UK have residence halls where students can live, there are subtle differences between the two. Students in UK, generally have a room to themselves whereas in the US, it is more common to share a room with others. Many students in USA have other housing options open to them after their first year. These options take the form of renting an apartment. Another difference is that students in UK are provided with a maid service, although they have to pay for the services out of their own pockets. For more information about Universities in UK and USA and for guidance on how to apply, contact Global Tree, the most trusted overseas education consultant in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

The common notion is that foreign universities are expensive, although with scholarships this is an exaggerated issue. What many fail to consider are time and effort. Studying in an Indian college leads to a lower average salary than earned by our western counterparts. This salary sets the tone for all future promotions since companies often look at your previous salaries during compensation appraisals. Additionally, most senior positions tend to be scooped up by individuals who have an international outlook through global exposure.  Finally, studying in a foreign country is an incredible learning experience helping students get a better academic as well as soft skill development.

Canada has been one of the market leaders in education for decades. However, what currently sets Maple Country apart is immigration. Canada is wholeheartedly inviting students to study in their universities to fill job vacancies that are always growing in the country. Students who study in Canada (especially a Master’s Degree) are practically assured of a Permanent Residency Visa.

A good score doesn’t automatically qualify a candidate for a scholarship, however, it is one of the primary factors that the admissions department looks for in a scholarship application. There are other attributes such as a candidate’s academics, extra-curricular, financial background, and application essays (SOPs).

We get this question a lot. Many candidates know which career path they want to take, but are at a loss for how to take that journey. Understanding the job role and the industry that you want to get into is the first step to picking the right university.

Carefully consider the immigration options of the country that the university that you are considering is in. This is more important when you intend to stay back in the country after the completion of your course.

Also, review the placement history of the university as well.

The first step is to list your preferences. By listing your preferences and strengths, describe your course of preference. Extensive research on the modules, software and its length for your preferred subject is necessary.


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