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What is the US Education System?

What is the U.S. Education System?

The US higher education system is considered one of the best in the world, and offers flexible study opportunities at over 4,000 colleges and universities. US degrees are recognized worldwide for their academic excellence and enhanced learning experiences. Below we have detailed a few key aspects of the US education system that you will want to consider as an international student/

Types of Higher Education Institutes in the USA

State School/college/University

The US comprises 50 states, each state has at least one university or college that provides quality higher education to students at low rates. These universities are funded by the respective state governments and are usually equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. E.g. The University of California or Texas A&M University. Different schools have different selection criteria and students need to have a certain minimum percentage for admission to their colleges.

Private university/college

These institutions are run privately and are considered costly as compared to state schools.

Community Colleges

Community colleges offer two-year certifications or associate degrees which are transferable. Generally, Community college graduates transfer to universities or four-year colleges in order to complete their degree. They are allowed to transfer the credits which they have earned in the community college. Community colleges offer ESL (English as a Second Language) courses or other programs which prepare students for studying university-level courses.

Technology Institutes

These are the institutes that provide four-year courses related to science and technology.

Liberal Arts College

Students pursuing a liberal arts degree focus on a subject of their choice, a ‘major’ but they are also required to take ‘General Education’ courses in almost all of the other subjects offered. Liberal arts schools usually offer one expansive area of study whereas universities offer the same major in two or more degree areas. A student can major in Mathematics but can still choose an engineering career.


At U.S. colleges and universities, grades are given on a universal letter system of A through F; a student’s cumulative grade is indicated as a grade-point average, or GPA, which is measured on a scale from 0.0 (F) to 4.0 (A).

Majors, Minors and Concentrations

Another feature of the American education system is that universities emphasize breadth, which means students can take a wide range of courses and typically have nearly two years to decide on a major or choose a double major, a minor or concentration.

Experts encourage having a road map of classes to ensure prerequisite requirements are met to graduate in four years. Students should be aware that some schools have had to cut majors and minors due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on American higher education, experts say.

Assignments, Midterms and Finals

Prospective international students should be prepared for continuous assessment at U.S. universities as well as regular homework, such as reading and writing assignments.

Many international students are already accustomed to taking multiple quizzes and exams in order to regurgitate memorized material. Therefore, they often have to adjust to showing subject matter and skill mastery at the higher levels through other means – research papers, individual projects, group projects, capstone projects, and research.

Another area of adjustment for international students is that courses typically include discussions, class participation and oral presentations, as well as midterm and final exams that make up only a percentage of a student’s grade.

Extra Credit

In the American education system, some university professors may offer extra credit during a class; this is where students can participate in extra lectures, write papers or take quizzes, for example, for extra points to improve their overall grade.

English requirements

No matter where or what you study, degrees in the United States are almost exclusively taught in English, unless you’re studying another language. Therefore, strong English-language skills are highly recommended. If you’re not a native English speaker, you may also be required to prove your proficiency through a standardized test. That being said, studying abroad in the United States is a great chance to improve your English skills which will be helpful during your studies and when you’re looking for a job after graduation.

As for how you actually study, it is the same as in most countries. It is a mix of lectures, readings and independent study. If you are studying a practical subject, like engineering or microbiology, then you will also spend time in a lab or workshop.

SEE ALSO: Preparation for your stay in the U.S.

Preparation for your stay in the U.S.

Preparation for your stay in the U.S.

Careful planning is one thing that you will have to do in order to make your time abroad a success. With so much to plan, you need to start early and use a timetable in which to do things. As with your application process to select a school you need to make a list with everything you will need to make your time abroad easier.

Before you leave for the USA, you will need to plan for the following:

Student Visa

Your student visa is extremely important for your studies in the USA. Among other things, the type of visa you are issued will determine whether you have the option to work in the United States while you are at school.

Anyone who will be studying in the United States could be issued one of the three following visa types for international students: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 Visas allow for the possibility of employment but does not guarantee it. The M1 Visa, however, does not allow for the possibility of employment.

For more information you should visit the US government’s student visa page.

Health Care

The US healthcare system is the most advanced, the most complex (and therefore the most complicated), and one of the most expensive in the world. It is important to know what kind of healthcare to receive when heading over there.

On Campus

Most college and university campuses offer some type of general medical care; services vary from basic first-aid and treatment of minor ailments to sophisticated multi-doctor primary care centers offering x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs and access to specialists. The cost of on-campus medical services is normally not very expensive.

During your first week on campus, take a copy of your medical records (including immunization and vaccination records and prescriptions) to the school’s health care center or infirmary.

Off Campus

If you prefer to visit a medical practitioner off-campus, you have several choices (though the cost is generally higher). Private doctors treat non-emergency patients by appointment during regular office hours, typically 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Minor emergency clinics do not require appointments, and are usually open on weekends and holidays.

In case of a serious emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room — by ambulance if necessary. Hospital emergency rooms are designed to treat life-threatening ailments; this is typically the most expensive place to receive care.

If you need to use a medical facility, but are uncomfortable with your English skills, ask a friend to go with you. Proper communication is very important.


Keeping in touch and staying connected to friends and families around the world is important so that you do not feel cut off. It is natural to feel homesick from time to time. When this happens, one of the best ways to combat homesickness is to talk to a family member or close friend from back home. Thankfully, there are now plenty of apps and programs that allow you to communicate with people anywhere in the world for free, such as Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, and Snapchat. If you are willing to expend the effort, you can send a letter in the traditional form, using pen and paper.

Travel Arrangements

You will need to make sure you have some temporary accommodations and plan ahead for when you first get to the USA. Preparing for an overseas adventure is really an education in itself, taking care of all details with regard to admissions offices, enrollment procedures, immigration, and transferring funds.

You will likely plan to explore parts of the country before or after the academic semester. Sometimes they opt to travel during school holidays such as Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Spring Break; check your own school’s calendar for specific vacation dates and be sure to visit the student travel center for your travel needs.

It is important to plan a general itinerary before you leave your home country for the States, if you want to budget properly and take advantage of lower costs by purchasing your travel tickets in advance. Try to use a combination of airplanes, trains, buses and automobiles to get the most out of your travels (and your funds). Amtrak, for example, is the United States’ primary passenger rail provider. Luckily for you, the Internet has made it easier than ever to gather information about your travel options, so make the most of that resource and get researching!

SEE ALSO: How to Get a Student Visa

Best Places to Study in the US

Best Places to Study in the U.S.

Want to study in the USA but you’re not sure where? If you’re looking for a satisfying and rewarding student experience, then look no further than America’s great cities. Below we have listed 10 of the best cities to study in the USA.

San Diego

With perfect sunny weather and sunsets to die for, as well as a relaxing laid-back surf vibe, San Diego has become one of the most desirable places to study in the US.  The city’s highest ranked university is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD. San Diego is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, plenty of gorgeous beaches and the 1,200 acre Balboa Park – so there’s always something to entertain students.


When studying in nPittsburgh, you will notice very quickly that the city is very picturesque, with a beautiful skyline, and plenty of museums and theatres to choose from. Students regularly remark upon the culture, environment, and diversity of this post-industrial city. Pittsburg contains two excellent universities; Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh.

Washington DC

The capital of the US, and named after the nation’s first president and founding father George Washington, Washington DC is steeped in history. This famous city contains five top universities including the University of Maryland, College Park, and Georgetown University.

With its collection of monuments and landmarks, acclaimed theatres and historic towns, you will never be at a loss for things to do outside of your studies. If you’re looking for something to do in your free time, take a trip to the White House, go and see the Washington Monument or pay a visit to the impressive Lincoln memorial – the possibilities are endless.


Next is Philadelphia, as you can see. The city contains three high-ranking universities, the highest being the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has a great deal of history behind it – it is where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and also where the Liberty Bell is housed. Fans of cheese steaks, Will Smith, and Alway’s Sunny will find some joy here outside of the, perhaps, more influential historical artefacts.


The capital and most populated city in the state of Georgia, Atlanta is home to over five million people, including 63,000 students. Once you’ve graduated, it could be a good place to stick around as it is home to lots of successful companies, including Coca Cola, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Holiday Inn. There are, therefore, plenty of employment prospects for students at Atlanta’s universities. The city has three top ranking universities, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, and Georgia State University.


Chicago, affectionately known as ‘The Windy City’, is a city with an outstanding reputation among graduate employers. Chicago is also home to an impressive five universities, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Whilst studying in Chicago, you should visit Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, go and see the Red Bulls play, eat some deep dish pizza, and wrap up warm

San Francisco

San Francisco is home to three world-class universities. The two most prestigious SF universities are Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. Its high caliber of institutions means that San Francisco is a good bet for your career prospects.

San Francisco is also home to Silicon Valley and therefore to a multitude of successful companies, including Apple, Facebook and IBM, so this too, may have a part to play in the city’s high score for employment activity.

Los Angeles 

‘The City of Angels,’ the ‘Creative Capital of the World’, Los Angeles goes by many names, but is undoubtedly most famous for being the home of Hollywood. The city contains three top universities, including California Institute of Technology (or Caltech) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In LA, you have the beach, you have the mountains, and a never-ending sprawling modern megacity full of potential, glamour, and excitement. 

New York City

New York has the largest overall population of all the featured cities in this list, with 20,321,000 people. 1.5 percent of these (or 51,300) are students –  meaning you’re likely to make friends, explore the city, and attend a lot of student-oriented events. New York boasts no fewer than 10 world-class universities, including Ivy League university Columbia University, and New York University (NYU, to you and me).


Surprising no one, Boston is America’s best city to be a student in. The city is home to eight universities in total, including two of the top three universities in the world; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Cambridge is a student haven, and you will never be short of things to do in the city itself.

SEE ALSO: Best Sports Colleges in the US

Best Sports Colleges in the US

Best Sports Colleges in the U.S.

If you’re a promising footballer, basketballer or athlete, you’ve come to the right place. Picking a US university with a strong sports program could be the difference between you turning your natural ability into a successful career or just being another hobby. Even if you’re more of a fan than a player, or if you’re just interested in sport-adjacent careers like physiotherapy, the top sports colleges in the US will be more appealing to you than other institutions.

Below is a list of nine of the best universities in America for sports lovers.

Ohio State University

Ohio State has 1,203 students playing for a university sports team, and as a result it is a university full of sporting activity. At the top is the university’s football team, which has an enviable record in recent years and attracts crowds of over 100,000, nearly 30,000 of which are student season ticket holders. With 738,500 square feet of total indoor recreation space, and fantastic school spirit, there are few places better for both athletes and fans.

University of Michigan

Regularly attracting crowds of over 100,000 to their home football matches, the University of Michigan is a true sporting powerhouse. The university has had 24 alumni in the last four US Olympic teams as well as 54 conference championships in the last 10 years and boasts incredible varsity facilities. Academically, Michigan isn’t too shabby either, with the sports program boasting an 80% graduation rate among its student athletes. The sports connoisseur will also enjoy proximity to the Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), and the Detroit Tigers (MLB).

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s two most successful sports teams are football and men’s basketball, and it manages to blend campus culture and sporting prowess perfectly. Student athletes here boast a 70% graduation rate, which suggests that you will leave UWM with a proper education as well as sporting glory.

University of Florida

Particularly strong for football and basketball, the University of Florida is also a great party university, making the fan experience here one of the greatest in the US. You won’t be short on bars to celebrate victories in, whether you’re a player or a fan.

University of Connecticut

Connecticut may not have any professional male sports teams, but this just means the university sides attract even more attention than normal. The basketball team has won two men’s national titles in the last decade, but it’s the women’s basketball team that are the real stars at the university, with a recent winning streak of over 100 consecutive games. If football’s more your thing then this probably isn’t the university for you, but there is plenty for sports lovers to enjoy about studying in Connecticut.

University of Notre Dame

Few universities manage to be competitive in such a vast array of sports as Notre Dame, with the soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey and fencing teams all either winning titles or reaching semi-finals since the year 2000. Intramural sport is also in rude health here, with student teams existing for practically everything, from full-contact football to co-ed broomball. If being a spectator is more your thing, the Notre Dame stadium – home to four statues of former coaches – provides a matchday experience like few others.

Duke University

Duke’s 9,314-seat basketball stadium is one of the most well-known college sport venues in the country, with students often camping outside for weeks at a time in order to gain a seat for the big game. Varsity athletics is also in extremely healthy shape here, but it’s the two basketball championships since 2010 which get most of the attention. The football team has also performed well of late, although tailgating has been banned since 2010, taking some of the fun of being a fan away from the sport.

University of California, Los Angeles

Student athletes at UCLA get to enjoy some of the finest facilities in the US, in an environment which breeds success. With over 100 NCAA team championships to their name, UCLA has an illustrious sporting history and it’s only getting better each year. Sport fans are also spoiled for choice with countless professional teams on their doorstep, from the Lakers, Rams and Clippers to the Kings and the Dodgers.

University of Texas at Austin

If you like football, you’ll love the matchday experience at UT, where the stadium is filled with an enormous swaying mass of orange shirts, cowboy boots and foam fingers. It’s not just about the games under Friday night lights though; UT also has an enviable women’s athletics program and a proven track record of producing Olympic athletes (23 in the past four US Olympic teams).

SEE ALSO: What are the Ivy League Schools?

How Do I Become a Civil Engineer?

How Do I Become a Civil Engineer?

So, you want to become a civil engineer. That’s why you’re here. It is a highly skilled, highly regarded job that you may have to begin preparing for before you go off to college. In this article we will talk you through five steps for becoming a civil engineer.

First though, what is a civil engineer?

Civil Engineers, since you asked, are involved with all aspects of construction and design for projects such as roads, bridges, water treatment systems, dams and levees, tunnels, and more. They conceive, design, supervise, construct, operate, and maintain a variety of public and private sector projects and systems. Their typical duties will vary from analyzing data from maps to factoring costs, government and environmental regulations, alongside submitting applicable permits to the appropriate state, local, and federal authorities to ensure proper procedures and regulations are followed. You will be using design software, overseeing site layout, building locations, grades, elevations, and everything else.

Prepare While Still in High School

Colleges and universities will look more favorably on a college preparatory program of studies, including a strong background in science and math. Students should take advanced coursework in physics, biology, math, and computer science. Maintaining high grades will help you be competitive for admission into a civil engineering program. You can explore various civil engineering careers by job-shadowing, summer programs, or similar exposure to the field. This will help you determine the best engineering avenue to pursue.

Earn a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

As you research college and university options, look for ABET-accredited civil engineering degree programs. ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accreditation ensures high standards in applied and natural sciences, computer science, engineering, and engineering technology programs. In addition, graduating from an ABET-accredited program is one of the requirements for earning your Professional Engineer License, which is important if you plan to move up the civil engineering career ladder.

Civil engineering coursework will include classes in mathematics, statistics, fluid dynamics, and engineering mechanics and systems. Good programs include a mix of these classes and both fieldwork and lab time. In addition, students should look for internships to give them real-world, practical experience which not only increases their knowledge, but also can help with obtaining their first job upon graduation.

Get Professional Experience

Civil engineers typically begin their careers as engineers in training (EITs). In most states, you’ll achieve this status by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Once the FE exam is passed civil engineers may work in internships, apprenticeships, co-ops, or other employment. This is typically done under the supervision of an experienced civil engineer, and relevant work experience will allow you to move up the civil engineering career ladder.

Earn Your Professional Engineer (PE) License

The PE license is not required to obtain an entry-level job in the civil engineering field, but career advancement is difficult without the PE license. Although there is some variation by state, generally most states require:

A Bachelor of Science from an ABET-accredited program A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam Related work experience under a PE; typically around 4 years A passing score on the Professional Engineering exam

(Optional) Obtain a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering

Coursework at the master’s level will help you specialize and improve your civil engineering knowledge. Requirements for these programs include

  • A Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering or a related field
  • A cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0
  • Two to three letters of recommendation Graduate Record Exam (GRE) results
  • Coursework at the graduate level will include core coursework and additional specialized courses.

SEE ALSO: How Do I Become a Lawyer?

How Do I Become a Lawyer?

How Do I Become a Lawyer?

The answer to the titular question is with great effort and time. Prospective lawyers must undertake a series of steps to practice law, including completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees, examinations and licensing processes.

After this effort and time, there can be an excellent payoff to becoming a lawyer. For instance, the median annual salary is $126,930, and some salaries exceed $200,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program

The minimum educational requirement to be admitted into law school is a bachelor’s degree. Luckily, there is no singular field of study recommended by the American Bar Association at this level. In fact, you can gain admission to law school from nearly every area of study, ranging from political science to mathematics.

There’s no correct major to pursue to get into law school. If you take a bachelor’s that you know you will enjoy, then you are likely to receive better grades. This, in turn, makes you a more competitive candidate for law school.

Pass the Law School Admission Test

Another core component of the admissions process for law school is the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. The admissions officers for law schools use scores from the LSAT as an objective measure when assessing the knowledge and quality of applicants.

The examination includes five multiple-choice question sections and an unscored writing sample. The LSAT measures skills in critical areas of future legal work, including reading comprehension, information management, analysis and critical thinking, reasoning, and argumentation.

Identify Law Schools, Complete Applications

Some students, after finishing their undergraduate degree, choose to forego further education, whilst others choose to gain professional experience in some other fields before enrolling in law school. Once you decide it is time to start applying, you should only consider law schools accredited by the American Bar Association, henceforth known as the ABA.

In addition to your overall Grade Point Average (GPA), undergraduate coursework, and LSAT scores, other admission factors may include community service, organizational affiliations, and recommendation letters from educators, alumni or legal professionals. The Law School Admission Council is a great resource for students in the research phase of the law school application process.

Earn a Juris Doctor Degree

The Juris Doctor (JD) is the nationally recognized degree for practicing law in the United States and is currently offered by 205 ABA-accredited law schools. Prospective students should have knowledge of the faculty, areas of study, tuition, and curriculum prior to applying. There are numerous specialties within legal practice and students should select a program that offers a focused curriculum in their area of interest. For example, students may choose to concentrate in areas of real estate, property, criminal, environmental, tax, or family law. Typically students can complete their Juris Doctor in three years of full-time study.

Popular concentrations include corporate law, family law, labor law, civil rights law, health law, intellectual property law, and tax law.

Pass the Bar Examination

What has seeped into popular consciousness for prospective law students is the Bar examination. Most states in the US demand that their lawyers graduate from an ABA-approved law school and pass the state bar examination prior to qualifying in that state.

Though each state sets its own guidelines for testing, the bar is normally a two day process/ Day one consists of taking and completing the Multistate Bar Examination, whilst day two concerns itself with writing examinations that cover various legal matters. In addition to the bar examination, the state board of examiners consider the candidate’s background in education, character, competence, and ability to represent others in legal matters before they offer a full legal license.

After getting in…

There are many opportunities for lawyers to advance their careers after getting into law school. Generally, freshmen lawyers will start out as associates, honing their craft alongside seasoned professionals. After several years of successful practice, attorneys may rise to become partners in a firm while others may choose to open their own law office. Some may move beyond practicing law and become a judge or shift into public positions.

SEE ALSO: How Do I Become a Teacher?

How Do I Become a School Teacher?

How Do I Become a Teacher?

You’ve found yourself reading this article because you’re considering becoming a school teacher, which is ideal as we are going to talk through the route towards becoming a school teacher!

First, however, if you have not yet entirely decided if a teaching job is right for you and your life, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a desire to teach?
  • Will I be able to complete all the teacher requirements?
  • Is the general teaching salary acceptable?
  • Do I have the patience and willingness required to give students the best education?

How much time does it take to become a teacher?

The time it takes to become a teacher varies drastically, mostly based on the students’ age and education level. You may not need experience and more than the basic certification to teach younger children.

As you would expect, the older the pupils are, the longer it takes for aspiring teachers to get qualified to teach them. In general, it will take at least four years to become qualified to teach, including the time it takes to earn the minimum degree and certification requirements.

How much do teachers earn?

It is difficult to put an exact sum on how much teachers earn. Their salaries differ even more than the education levels. Teaching salaries vary by age level, degree, school district, length of employment, subject matter, and many other factors. It can be safely assumed that teaching paychecks go up as the students’ age increases. As a teacher, you will have two or three months free during the summer break, during which you can work a part-time job if you need the money. The average teaching salary for the US was about $61,000 for 15 years of experience.

Different kinds of teacher for different kinds of people.

In the first three teaching levels (early childhood, preschool, and elementary), the students are younger and the curriculum is broader. Therefore, a teacher here would be responsible for instructing across multiple subjects. Future teachers of middle school and high school levels instead must specialize in a particular area (biology, geography, etc.), as these students’ widening knowledge calls for it. Special education teachers are those who instruct children with various learning disabilities and developmental disorders.

What degree does a teacher require?

Prospective teachers will need to earn an accredited bachelor’s degree at the very least. Elementary school teachers usually major in elementary education. For those wanting to teach older students at higher grade levels, they will major in the subject that they wish to teach.

Learning how to become an elementary school teacher, preschool teacher or early childhood teacher will be easier than understanding and learning how to become a high school teacher. The salary you receive will generally reflect this gap in difficulty.

Which degree is best?

Now that you have decided to dedicate your career to teaching, it is crucial that you pick a major that lines up with the level of education or speciality that you are most interested in teaching your future students. To become a History teacher you will need a bachelor’s degree in education, preferably with a major in history. To become an English teacher you will need a bachelor’s degree in English. For a Maths teacher, you will need a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration on mathematics. To become a science teacher, you will be best set up by a bachelor’s degree in education in the specific scientific field that you intend to teach.

How to get a teaching certificate

Once you have your degree, you will need to obtain a teaching certificate in order to be licensed as a teacher. In most states, the route to getting a teaching certificate goes as follows:

  • Obtain a relevant bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete a district- or state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Pass required exams in the school district and/or state
  • Submit a state teaching license application.

Check the US Department of Education website for resources state by state.

Experience is crucial

Obtaining teaching experience is a requirement for most teachers. It may seem bizarre that you will need classroom experience before you have been licensed and accredited as a teacher.

Most future teachers (depending on location) need a certain number of hours of supervised classroom teaching experience if they want to get licensed. Similar to flight hours before becoming a full-fledged pilot, these student teaching hours can come during your studies or after you graduate. This can begin as a teaching assistant, a good way to understand the dynamics of a classroom, as well as how to effectively interact and communicate with your students.

SEE ALSO: How Do I Become a Lawyer?

Study Abroad in Montevideo

Study Abroad in Montevideo

The combination of a high quality and laid-back lifestyle, stunning coastline, vibrant culture and well developed cities makes studying in Montevideo tough to beat. Below we have expanded on some reasons why you may want to consider taking to Montevideo for your study abroad programme.

Surprising choice

Despite its small population of only 1.3 million people, Montevideo boasts some high-quality museums, such as the Universidad de la República and the Universidad de Montevideo. The former was established in 1849 and is currently ranked in the top 1000 universities in the world and 47th in Latin America. As well as being significantly older than the Universidad de Montevideo, it’s also much larger, with a student body of almost 110,000 across a number of schools and institutes. Whilst some of their buildings can be found throughout Uruguay, most of the Universidad de la República’s buildings and facilities are located in Montevideo, including the law school and departments of veterinary medicine, medicine, engineering, chemistry and the humanities. Tuition is free for Uruguayan citizens.

The latter, the Universidad de Montevideo, is a private university that offers seven departments including management, economics, law, humanities, engineering and biomedical science, the university welcomes international students and has partnerships with universities the world over.

Quality of life

Known as “The Switzerland of South America” for its peaceful culture, Uruguay is nestled between South America’s two titans, Argentina and Brazil. This is an ideal location for students who are looking to live in an up and coming city in South America that offers charm, culture, and lots of activity. Plus, with its close proximity to Argentina, it will feel like you’re getting two study abroad locations in one!

About half the population of Uruguay live in the capital city of Montevideo. You don’t need to spend much time there to understand why. Montevideo covers 77 square miles along the Rio de la Plata, and is made up of 62 barrios (neighborhoods), each with its own unique flavor and feel. Consistently rated as the South American city with the “highest quality of life” by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, Montevideo is a showplace of the way an eclectic mix of cultures can create a place of rich, diverse heritage.

Arts and culture

Uruguay’s multicultural heritage has given the people a deep appreciation for a diverse range of culture and arts. Montevideo is very much a city of the world, with art museums, ballet, theaters, music halls, and more. Uruguayans enjoy tango, folk music, and jazz, as well as the African influenced drum rhythms of candombe. World-class artists, musicians, and other entertainment regularly appear in Montevideo.

When people mention theater in Montevideo, the first place that comes to mind is the Teatro Solis (Solis Theatre). It is a neo classical building completed in 1856, located on the east side of Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja. The Solis maintains a full and vibrant schedule of interesting events.

You’ll also find amazing performances at Montevideo’s modern Auditorio Nacional Adela Reta (Adela Reta National Auditorium). Completed in 2009, the Adela Reta has the largest stage in Montevideo with seating for 2,000 people. Operas, symphonies, ballets, and other significant productions are held there.

Ramble down the Rambla

Perhaps the most attractive feature of Montevideo is the 14-mile long rambla, a continuous walkway along the waterfront that has parks, bike paths, outdoor exercise pavilions, restaurants, and more. It winds its way around the city and provides access to some of the more popular neighborhoods.



If you like grilled red meat, you’ll be in heaven in Uruguay, but if you like a little variety (any variety) in the restaurants you will struggle. A hungry vegetarian or vegan student wandering through Montevideo’s streets will be quickly dismayed at the prospect of their going hungry.  There is a lack of inventive food in Montevideo, which may leave you feeling unfulfilled. Even with its long and luxurious coastline, Uruguay’s seafood can leave a lot to be desired. A fish shop will likely offer you frozen, cooked shrimp and imported salmon from Chile, at a premium price.


If you’re looking for a valley of eternal spring, Uruguay is not your place. Located in the Southern Temperate Zone, Uruguay has four seasons. Average summer temperatures are ideal (with highs in around 25 C and lows around 15 C). But, winter temperatures are cooler. Average daytime highs reach 10 C and average nighttime lows dip to single figures. With high humidity and wind, it can feel colder than you might expect. On many winter days, you’ll see people wearing coats, hats, and gloves.

SEE ALSO: Study Abroad in Bogota

What skills do you gain from studying abroad?

What Skills Do You Gain from Studying Abroad?

You are almost guaranteed to have a good time when studying abroad, but you may wonder before you go what skills and knowledge you’ll gain from studying abroad. 

Studying abroad provides you with transferable skills to add to your CV and impress future employers. Below we have listed a few skills you’ll pick up whilst you’re over there. 


The biggest lesson and skill you will learn while studying abroad is independence. Living abroad in a different country with unfamiliar cultural norms is daunting. But, you will learn how to be independent by facing and working through any challenges you may face on your own, and you’ll become more comfortable with your potential.

There will be times in life, both professionally and personally, when you’ll be expected to be self-reliant. You become more trustworthy when others can see that you are confident and able to figure things out for yourself. 

Language and Communication

Whether the country you are studying abroad in shares the same native language as you or not, we can guarantee that there will be some communication and language differences. While you’re studying abroad, you will gain intercultural communication skills from interacting with people from different cultures.

This skill is highly prized, as it shows employers that you’re able to communicate and work with people from diverse backgrounds. This skill can benefit you personally too, as you will find it easier to understand and communicate with others who are different and build stronger connections with them.

Cultural awareness

Cultural awareness is a skill achieved from studying abroad when you really make an effort to understand the new country and its culture that you’re living in. Being culturally sensitive is a crucial part to being able to adapt to, or being flexible with, foreign surroundings.

While you’re abroad, you should try to learn as much as you can about the customs of the country you’re in. Cultural awareness can also lead to respect for those who are different from you. 

Plus, trying to integrate yourself into a new culture can be fun and done in ways such as learning a new language, trying new foods, chatting with the locals, and more!


Arguably, this is one of the more important skills you will gain while studying abroad. A more heightened self-awareness can be triggered while studying abroad as you begin to settle into your new home.

There may be aspects of this new culture that you really like and want to use and adapt to your own lifestyle. Vice versa, living abroad can make you scrutinize what you like and don’t like about your own culture and lifestyle.

When you find yourself in situations that are unfamiliar to you, you become more vulnerable. This vulnerability forces you to assess who you are, and will maybe even make it more clear who or what you want to be. 

As you become more self-aware, you may start to challenge your own beliefs, and develop new perspectives on things. Personal prejudices and biases you have may also surface. Self-awareness is a special trait to have, because it shows that you can recognize your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and things that matter to you.


One of the most important skills gained from study abroad is adaptability. This can also be linked to being culturally aware, but as you learn more about the new country you’re in you learn how to live like a local.

Learning the local language, trying cultural dishes, understanding laws, customs, learning how to use money and how to use different transportation systems, are just a few things you’ll have to learn and to which you’ll have to adapt. 

Living abroad will present you with new experiences, and sometimes obstacles, almost every day. Employers will understand that if you studied abroad, you would have had to learn how to adjust to your surroundings. This kind of flexibility is attractive to employers as they want to know that you’ll be a candidate who can adapt and persevere in times of change and difficulty.


As you become more culturally understanding of others, you learn to respect them. This also coincides with developing empathy. You may learn and read about the history, people, and culture of other countries in school. But, you learn more (and often more effectively) when you experience things in person.

Visiting historical sites, walking along ancient roads, and (most importantly) talking and connecting with people of different cultures all teach you empathy. When you get to interact with others and hear their stories, you will find that humans share much more in common than you thought—even if you grew up on literal opposite sides of the world.

Empathy is important in all aspects of life. You will also be able to connect to more people, and in easier ways. In the workplace, empathy is important to have when working in a team or with others, as you’ll be a much more understanding, less self-centered coworker. 


Studying abroad can definitely help you find and build a sense of confidence you knew you always had, but that was hiding under the surface. Unless you find yourself going with a big group of friends or with a lot of people from your school, studying abroad gives you somewhat of a fresh start. You can choose who you want to be.

Your confidence can come from a lot of things, but it all comes down to challenging yourself and learning new things while abroad. Something as simple as learning to navigate the local transportation system, or how to order food in another language will make you more confident in yourself and your capability. 

When you shine with self-confidence employers can see it. Your confidence will give employers faith in knowing that you can trust yourself, and that they can trust you in return to do your job. Confidence is definitely a valuable skill you will learn while studying abroad.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things You Should Know Before Studying Abroad

Study Abroad in Bogota

Study Abroad in Bogota

The beating heart of an intriguing country, the towering skyscrapers of Bogota’s businesses contrast with its historic colonial architecture, enticing visitors with its diversity. Add to this some of the best food and nightlife in Latin America, and you surely won’t want to leave by the end of your programme.

Colombia in the past few years has more than recovered its reputation as a safe destination and tourism is booming. It’s an excellent place to choose to study Spanish, too, as the Colombian accent and pronunciation is easier to understand than many other South and Central American countries, particularly for first-time learners.

There are also tons of museums to explore: as with many capital cities, Bogota holds the key to Colombia’s culture, in the form of its Gold museum, the Botero museum, and the Colombian national museum. There’s certainly a lot to be gained from studying in Colombia’s capital.


Studying in Colombia will teach you much more than just what you learn inside the classroom. It’s a whole different culture, another language spoken in the streets, and a rich Latin American lifestyle to get used to.

Learn Spanish to immerse yourself in Bogota culture

One of the key ways to immerse yourself in Colombian culture is by learning the Spanish language, which will help you to get under the skin of life in Colombia and give you a new skill that will be both professionally useful and personally enriching.

There is support if you need it

Seeing as Colombia’s culture is quite different from the typical Western lifestyle, it’s understandable when students feel a little overwhelmed by it all. Culture shock is totally normal, and it will pass, but it’s useful to have a basic framework for dealing with these difficulties.

Some organizations have a dedicated member of staff focusing on student life, while many others have the advantage of simply having a cohort of students all going through the same experience at the same time. Having others to talk to about how you’re feeling is useful when going through culture shock.

Bogota’s leisure activities have something for anyone

Bogota is a late-night kind of place. Whether it’s eating, drinking, or dancing salsa, you’ll find the streets alive until the early hours of the morning. Salsa is a huge part of the culture, and you’ll find it in almost any club you visit.

And of course, coffee is an integral element of Colombian life, despite much of the best stuff being shipped off for international export. A cup of tinto and a leisurely chat in the square is a favorite pastime for many Colombians. You can easily spot the locals dotted around across the benches of almost any open park or crowding the street-side tables of cafes.

Interaction with other international students

The country is steadily seeing an increase in international students from all over the world. Bogota regularly hosts a number of international students, who come here for learning Spanish, doing internships, attending semester exchange and volunteering programs.

The government and the universities are actively making efforts and taking steps to put Colombia on the forefront in the field of academics. Universities in Bogota have alliances with international institutions that bring in students from multiple countries around the world.

Meeting students from different backgrounds and cultures makes the experience of an international student even more enriching. You get to meet people with a lot of varied interests. Studying here provides a medium to interact and learn about a variety of cultures and languages as well.


The weather may not be what you imagined.

It’s cold in Bogota. You would be forgiven for thinking that moving to South America would mean sun and heat, especially since Bogotá lies just 319 miles from the equator. However, because it’s a mountain city, the climate in Bogotá stays generally cool with average temperatures staying around 14 degrees Celsius year round.  This means it is essentially autumnal weather all year round. For you, this means wearing sweaters, scarves, and boots all year.

It will rain every day. If you decide to study abroad in Bogota, make sure to throw your rain poncho over whatever you’re wearing and put a travel umbrella in your bag. Because you can never know when the rain will start, but it will start. Living in Bogotá means always being prepared for the weather to change, and not being surprised when it’s sunny and raining at the same time. Don’t be discouraged though, it will usually only last 10-15 minutes and is usually never more than a sprinkle. Not quite enough to really seek shelter, just enough to be annoying.

SEE ALSO: Study Abroad in Sao Paulo