Differences Between Universities in the United States and Foreign Nations

More than 330,000 American students studied in foreign nations for college credit last year, as reported by the Institute of International Education (ITE). But what is the primary difference between international schools and colleges here in the United States? The general structure of postsecondary education in the United States is very different than those from countries around the world. Tuition, culture, and offered classes vary immensely upon the region. Day-to-day life as a student, whether that be as an undergraduate or graduate student, is distinct for each school. As it turns out, culture has an enormous impact on the unique persona of each school around the globe. 

Tuition is one of the greatest differences between universities in the United States and internationally. Take Europe, for example. Postsecondary education in Europe costs around 4,000 U.S. dollars, on the average. Compare this to American universities, where annual fees go well into the ten-thousands, and one can see a substantial difference in overall cost. “How might foreign universities be so ridiculously cheap?” one may ask. Well, the cheap cost of education trades off with the quality of education and higher taxes.

As aforementioned, the quality of education is substantially different around the world. Looking at various rankings of postsecondary options, it is evident that the United States is arguably the world’s leader in postsecondary education. This is partly due to the United States’ sheer size. Many cities are centered around a university, as seen in Madison. The focus on education enables students to be immersed in resources and opportunities. On the contrary, foreign universities are often a part of larger metropolitan cities. As discussed, there are several key differences between domestic and foreign universities. The differences between them influence many students’ decisions when it comes to postsecondary education.

By Sanjay Palta-Hill


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