It's pleasurable and exciting to transfer from high school to college but also be very challenging. It's an important turning point in our life. With many different there are certain similarities as well, but college is a whole new world for me. After few weeks study in Quincy College, I realized it has the level education system very different from my high school that I used to study in my country. It's a big different but the notable about curriculums, treatment, the way to teach, the way to assess the student etc. First of all, the college curriculum in the United State is more flexible than in my country. Students can select courses, teachers, and select the desired school. For example, in high school I used to spend seven or eight hours a day, less than half the days of the year but in college I don't have to take a lot of classes a day or some classes I can take at night. This semester I have four classes continuously from 8am to 2pm, only 20 minutes to travel from classroom to classroom, and one class from 7pm to 10pm. Pham 2
The other information I have known that’s though students register for their major when they start to study in college, but students can change majors during the first two years and it is not affect graduation time. For example, students chose literature can switch to sectors such audit. In the first two years, most of the branches are the same program. All students regardless of major, whether audit or literature, are required to complete the basic program with many subjects in many fields, from the natural sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology), Science society (history, sociology, politics), English (writing that in the study), to classes such as Music and Theater. Of course, students may choose their favorite subjects in these groups of subjects. Degree programs are designed for 4 years, but because of the credit, so students can register more than twelve credits in two main semesters as well as they can learn all through summer to shorten learning time. Second, I can get different treatment from teacher. I ‘m over 18 years old in college, I could be treated like an adult. For example professor won’t call me answer as a punishment when I’m thinking about something else and don’t focus on the lecture. I could debate openly without being judgments attitude every time rejected the opinion of teachers. An extremely normal thing in the U.S that professor’s happy to thank professor when I pointed out a mistake in the lecture. I once even saw student earn points from point out such errors that make me understand why American students are Pham 3
very confident style, because they get real encouragement from the teachers when speaking, even requiring repeat the professor just said. The small thing I know difference with treatment in Vietnam that is even high school students in the United States do not need to stand up when the teacher came. Third, some difference way to teaching. How the way to teach in American universities, I never see teachers read and then students copy all to write down like I did when I was high school in Vietnam. Teacher’ s lecture will be on slide show and talk about these issues or something new need to add professor will write on the board. I can see the lecture of the teacher on the portal to review the presentation to support self-study process. Student will know the syllabus and the lectures at the beginning of semester. In addition teaching lessons in class, teachers spend about 2-4 hours per week so that students can easily to get their help, exchange or ask some questions in their own office. Fourth that is the difference way how to assess the students. In the United States in a period, students usually take four or five subjects for a semester. Each subject has three to six tests, the percentage points are distributed. Last period with five classes, every week has at least one such test, up to four weeks test, the article must be submitted, and classroom presentations. In Vietnam, if there is no mid-term test, only a final exam. So American students can learn continuously, unlike in Vietnam, schedule Pham 4
enabling students can feel free beginning and feel rush in a few days at the end for the final exam period and also finished. And of course, knowledge is built from basic to advanced; students will certainly understand the problem. In addition to the test in class, with online classes I still have to do test within 15 minutes online sometimes or class every two weeks with an online homework, I have to take about 4 hours to complete a 30-50 multiple choice questions. In fact study in the U.S; I know I have to write a lot. Sometimes I have to find the topic and found references in the library. In particular, I may have missed if I fouled plagiarism, even a copying error in an essay. A little different thing that is almost colleges in the US has a lot student club, not like in Vietnam it just has few student clubs in school. In the US, if students want to volunteer, they can participate in volunteer programs of many student clubs. There are clubs for specialized industry (such as Finance, Audit, Economics, Chemistry, Information Technology), culture (the student union countries and territories), or for entertainment (Photography image, table tennis, chess). Besides, there are many extra-curricular classes (yoga, Latin dance). Activities of the club in American universities are very active. Participate in extra-curricular activities to help me learn a lot in the way of communication. When I join in college, one thing made me surprise that is no age discrimination in the classroom. To conclude, although both have a lot of things different, it shares the same Pham 5
common goal that teaching to give me knowledge and help me achieve my life goal. College is a new chapter in my life, and also a new beginning.