A few weeks ago I had a student in one of my classes who was learning English so they could enroll in a college in the US. As I talked to the student, I realized that relevant language tips would also be important for others with the same ambitions: so here are five key phrases you need if you want to study in the USA.
Dorms – These are the places where you will probably live for the first year of your college education in the USA. A ‘dorm’ is the housing provided by the school for you to live in. ‘Dormitory’ is the long form of the word; but here in the US, you will hear everyone use the abbreviation ‘dorms’.
Student loans – This is a topic that you will hear every college student talk about. Student loans are an amount of money that students borrow from the government or private organizations, covering both the cost of tuition and personal living expenses.
Semester – Most colleges in the USA offer four-year courses, and each year is broken down into two semesters, which last four months each.The classes you take will last for 16 weeks, exactly one semester. Many other countries refer to this study period as a ‘term’.
Internship – This is something that many of you will have to do during your time in the USA. An internship is a job related to your degree that you get while you are still in college. Your internship will only last one semester and the company that you work at is not required to pay you. Internships are a requirement in most colleges for most degrees.
GPA – In the USA, grading is done a little differently. You are given a percentage, but each percentage equates to a letter. Based on what letter you get, you will be given a GPA, or ‘grade point average’. This GPA provides an average of how well you did in your college courses.
For example, 90-100% in your class will give you an ‘A’ and that will be worth four points, 80-90% will give you a ‘B’ which will be worth three points and so on. Usually GPAs are said as a decimal, for example, 4.0 (pronounced: ‘four point oh’) or 3.5 (pronounced: ‘three point five’). There are many GPA calculators online which come in very handy while you are studying.
I wish you the best of luck with your studies in the USA!
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