University vs College | 10 British vs American English Differences

University vs College | 10 British vs American English Differences

October 18, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Do you want to study at a British university
or an American college? Because if you do, this is the video for you! Because we are
going to look at ten essential words that you are going to need to know if you want
to study abroad. This is going to be super useful guys. So let’s roll the intro. The first big difference is that British students
go to university whereas American students would call it college or school, ok? So in
Britain we would say ‘Which uni do you go to?’ So we shorten university down to uni.
So which uni do you go to? “I go to Leeds uni.’ But in American English they would say
school. Well college is the institution but often they would say school. So which school
do you go to? I go to Harvard or Yale or whatever. That’s a bit of a strange one for British
students because school for us, well that’s when you are a kid, right? From the ages of
five to eighteen you go to school. Then you go to university. So using the word school,
it’s always a bit of a strange one for us but in American English school is high school
and also college. So that’s the first major difference. British students go to university
or uni. American students go to college or school. When British students arrive at uni
they are known as freshers. So I was a fresher for my first year. In America they are known
as freshmen. So the idea is the same, that fresh, like new but slightly different. So
fresher in the UK, freshman in America. Now at the beginning of the course you will find
out your timetable. This is when your classes are, what time, what day your classes are.
So in Britain we would say timetable. In America they would probably say schedule. So in Britain
we get our timetable, in America they will get their schedule. Now this is an interesting
difference. In American English I know that they major in a subject. So let’s say I’m
studying English, ‘I major in English’. But in Britain we would use other verbs. So we
don’t use major we’d use things like I read so ‘I’m reading English’ or ‘I read English’
in the past. Or we might say ‘I’m doing English’ or ‘I did English’. I did media studies, not
sure why but anyway. So you could say ‘I did media studies’ or ‘I’m doing media studies’
if it’s in the present tense. You could also say study so ‘I’m studying English’ or ‘I’m
studying history.’ So we’ve got a couple of verbs read, study and do whereas in America
it’s just major. Here’s a question for any of you guys out
there in America. Now in Britain we have something called a gap year. This is a year in between
school and university where somebody might want to work for a while or travel. The idea
is that you get a bit more experience of life. So we take a gap year. Now what is that in
American English? I don’t actually know. So I’d love it if you guys knew so let me know
in the comments below. What is a gap year in American English? Maybe it’s gap year,
I don’t know. Anyway, let me know. In British English we divide the academic year up into
terms so usually we have three terms one before Christmas, one between Christmas and Easter
and then the summer term so from Easter till the summer. Now in American English they would
say semester but I have noticed that the word semester is coming more and more into British
English. So perhaps they are interchangeable here. So maybe in American English they will
also say term, in British English we will also say semester but generally in British
universities we use term and in American colleges they’ll say semester. Now when you are on
your course you will have to write essays all about different topics whatever the thing
is that you are studying. In American English they call those papers.
So ‘On Friday I have to hand in a paper’ you would say, whereas in British English ‘On
Friday I have to hand in an essay.’ So essay in British English, paper in American English.
Then at the end of the term or the course or the year whatever it might be in British
English we have to do exams whereas in American English I think they would say tests. Now
again this could be quite fluid. I think maybe in American English they might also say exams
and certainly in British English we say tests. Throughout the year you might have little
tests, kind of progress tests or whatever it might be but at the end of the year you’ll
have an exam and that’s the big important one that will decide if you pass your course
or not. In American English, I think they call that a test. Now on your course you are
going to have different classes. Now in American English it is a class and that could be small
or big it doesn’t really matter whereas in British English we divide them up into two
different categories.You have lectures where the lecturer or professor will talk for an
hour two hours and you sit and you take notes. There isn’t much of a discussion. You don’t
really generally ask questions. It’s usually in a big hall or big lecture theatre. Whereas
we also have seminars. Now a seminar is smaller. So there are fewer students, you’ve got one
professor, one teacher and you can generally ask them questions. It’s more of a discussion.
So yeah we have a seminar and a lecture whereas in American English it’s a class, it’s the
same thing. Now before your big exam at the end of the course, in British English we revise.
That means to study again the things that you have already learned. So you revise for
an exam or you revise for a test. In American English I think it’s review. They would use
the word review or study but i think we would use study as well. But the concept here of
revising is that you have already studied it and so you are looking at it again to remind
yourself of what you have already learned. So in British English revise, in American
English review. And finally for that exam the verb that we use in British English is
to sit an exam. Also we use take as well, so you could take an exam as well. In American
English I think they would generally use the word take. So in British English we sit an
exam, in American English they take a test. Now guys, if at the moment you are studying
in the UK or in the USA or that you want to study in the UK or the USA let me know in
the comments below. Tell me where you are studying, what you are studying and if you
have found any other differences between studying at a British university or an American college.
Let me know if you know any different words or generally how’s your experience been? How
is it different from studying back home? Let me know, I would love you to share it with
the rest of the Eat Sleep Dreamers. Alright guys, you know that I am back every Tuesday
and every Friday with fresh modern British English. Please check me out on Facebook,
check me out on Instagram where we do daily English content but until next time guys this
is Tom, the Chief Dreamer, saying goodbye.