The United States is well known for it’s great universities. The best universities of the world are in America. But what about high schools and education in general?
I’ve been studying in California for almost 4 months now. I already got used to the system, so now i’m able to compare it to education in Europe. Most of the countries in Europe has a similar system except few countries like the UK and Spain. The system that we have in Hungary and what most European countries have is completely different than in the US.
Fist of all, there is a huge difference between the number of classes. In Hungary, high school is 4 years (same as in America), but throughout the 4 years you must take the same classes. For example you will have 4 years of History, Mathematics, Hungarian Language, English, PE… So in total you take about 15 classes each year. Your schedule changes every day and you have from 5 to 7 classes a day. In America you have to take 6 classes each day for a year and you have the same classes every day. Also you can choose what kind of classes you take whereas in Hungary you have absolutely no ability to customise your schedule. They just give you a schedule and that’s it.
Another different thing is the classes you can take. In America you have a bunch of options. You can take electives like photography, film making, business, architecture and a lot more. You can take art classes like drawing, choir and theatre. There are several science classes and of course regular classes too. If you are into sports you can take a sport as your 6th period. In Hungary you don’t have these options. We don’t have sports in the schools, just a PE class. We don’t really have electives either. I think it’s a great thing that students in America have the option to try out a variety of things throughout their high school studies because this is how they will know what they want to do later in their life. In Hungary most seniors have no idea what they will do and what they want to be. Surprisingly here in America when I asked people about what they want to do, everyone could give me an answer. The sad thing is that i’m not sure what I want to do and this is the proof that the americans are more prepared.
Finally the graduation process is two different worlds. In America you have to collect credits. To be more specific 220 credits which are divided into sections. Here is a table which shows how many credits you have to collect for each class.
|Mathematics||30 credits (40 for UC and CSU)|
|Social Science||30 credits|
|World Language/Fine Arts||10 credits (30 for UC and CSU)|
|Visual and Performing Arts||10 credits|
|Physical Education/Health||20 credits|
So you earn 5 credits every semester in each class. Another thing you have to pass is the CAHSEE exam,. It’s the California High School Exit Exam. It consists of 2 sections, the Mathematics and the English. It’s only in California but in different states i’m sure they have different tests. You also need 60 hours of community or volunteer service. That’s all, it’s not hard. I actually took the CAHSEE this week and it was pretty easy even for me and don’t forget that English is not my first language. Graduating in Hungary and most European countries are really hard. You need to take a huge test in your senior year basically covering all the topics you have covered in the past 4 years. It’s not hard to pass it, but if you want to get a good score then it’s crazy hard.
My opinion is that the American education system is a lot better and more useful. It prepares you a lot better for life and college too. You get to take part in lots of events and you will live a more interesting life. The thing most americans don’t realize is that they live in like the best part of the world. They want to move to Europe but what they don’t know is that America’s education is one of the best. At least it’s better than European. Education in Asia is a different story and i’m not going to go in that but i’ve heard about it from my Asian friends.
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