People from outside the US often don’t realize that Americans actually have two basic types of higher education institutions:
- Liberal arts colleges, which specialize in teaching, rather than research
US education generally enjoys very high reputation around the world. In addition, many Americans want to be able to spend a semester abroad but still be able to transfer their credits back home.
Why study in the UK?
Top UK universities are among the best in the world. Then there is the added advantage of studying in English. Also, British universities have the tradition of rich and stimulating student life. Each of them offers a broad range of extracurricular activities. Universities tend to be very well-organized and, in contrast to continental Europe, administrative issues are dealt with quickly and effectively.
Why study in France?
France has long been one of the world’s top academic locations. Despite certain dominance of Anglo-Saxon universities, which is largely due to the dominance of English as the international medium of communication, it’s certainly not true that French higher education is behind the US and the UK.
Germany has 104 universities. The German system is peculiar in being very egalitarian. In principle, all universities are equal. There are differences, of course. Internationally, the old universities such as Heidelberg are the ones that are more recognized. But there is no layer of élite institutions in the US, UK or French fashion, which would apply stricter entry criteria or be noticeably financially better off. This is the fruit of the immediate post-war policy of the German government, which sought to provide for equal development of all German regions.
It is not necessary to move in order to study. There are many types of distance learning, online programmes. However, mostly they offer dubious quality and aren’t even accredited, sometimes even when they are linked to a particular university. However, you can find good quality online courses as well.