5 reasons I enjoy studying in USA

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At first I wanted to name this blog gloriously “5 differences between European and US educational system” but that wouldn´t be really accurate. First of all I haven´t studied anywhere else except Slovakia, so that would be too generalizing.  And it also sounds too official. This is definitely not going to be an academic text. Just my observation from few classes that I was able to attend this week at ASU.

So here are my 5 reasons for which I think I will enjoy studying here:

1. Teachers remember your name.

I am not a big ego person, but sometimes it feels strange when after three months your teacher still calls you “you, in that red sweater” or “you, who came late to the class”.  That happenes often in Slovak schools. Although  if you come late next time, the teacher might remeber your name…

2. Teachers have opened doors to their offices.

From what I remember we were allowed to visit teacher´s offices only during their “consulting hours” and to arrange “an audience” in any other time was almost impossible. Here it seems you can ask for advice anytime and that helps a lot.

3. Teachers act like your friends

In Slovakia (and from what I know from my friends this applies also to other post-communist countries) the relationships between teachers and students are much more formal than here. Unless it´s your schoolmate fromprevious years who now teaches you because of his PhD, it is unacceptable to call your teacher with his first name. Teachers also never meet their students in their past time or go for a lunch with them.

4. Teachers teach you what you really need for life.

When I am thinking about my University days I don´t remember anything else except of memorizing thousands of sentences that had no importance to my future career at all  (to be honest I also remember some partying:)  Here in US, students work on practical projects since the beginning of semester. That helps them to feel much more confident when they graduate the school and look for a job.

5. Teachers grade the student according to their real accomplishments.

Now, this might seem obvious too, but not everywhere it works like that. Although I´m not saying that all teachers at Slovak universities have their “preferred students” and “the other ones”, it happens a lot. One particular teacher of mine had a very sophisticated way of how to show the students that his grades are based “solely on the result of the final test”. At the final examination nobody was allowed to write his name on the test. You could write only the number, so the teacher would not know to who the test belongs. The only problem was, that he was the one who told you which number to write down and had a full list of student names and their numbers.

I know this looks like a horrible criticism of schools in my own country, but everything comes from my own experience. Fortunately the talks about changes in educational system in Slovakia are going on, and we hope a lot will change.

Oh, and I´ve almost forgotten about the thing I enjoy the most about studying at ASU – i can write my homework by the pool!

4 Comments on “5 reasons I enjoy studying in USA”

  1. Awesome! that is really true,you know? At least when we fail we will have to blame ourselves, honestly, because these people are really doing their best. I am also amazed that they remember our names, especially us with strange names.I really feel at home here and I like the way everybody respects each others input, even though we think we ask and say stupid things.I share the exact same sentiments. At my University back in Namibia, it seems lecturers just want to get the work over with, and go home. you can’t even say hi to your lecturer….Then, the student memorizes everything without even understanding…and pass. When you enter the job market, you are so shocked , because you can do nothing at all. I would want to leave here full of confidence and very competent…

  2. I also share the same feelings about the teacher student relationship in my country.
    In Pakistan,I only went to my teacher’s room at university level as in university we were at the highest standard of studying and we had to consult the teacher about assignments or presentations.But even in university,there was so much gap between the student and teacher that we shyly approached their rooms.While in school some teachers were too strict to approach even for time wish.The formality of relationship between students and teachers continue at all levels of education.If you are talking to male teacher then you address him ‘Sir,and Ma’m to female teachers.We could not imagine to call our teachers with any other names but Ma’m and Sir.

  3. yeap. apsolutelly true. But, while I was reading your blog things what are you talking about are so common for educational system in former socialyist countries.I can remember when I went to my university (first year) for one class (subject) were 300 students. Of course, that professor can not know your name. You are number for them or colleague:)

    1. I knew that this kind of educational system is similar in post-communist countries, but it is interesting to find out that the same applies to pakistan or namibia…no wonder we all ended up here:)

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