Glossary of Terms That May Confuse While You Are In Your Dream School

If you’re heading to a college or a school for higher education in UK/America/Canada, you will be overwhelmed by tons of words and “Foreign Terms” related to programs or course you have enrolled for.

Here we have compiled a list of few common words, phrases or acronyms to help you understand those lingos and their meanings:

  1. Academic Year – Divided as semesters, trimesters, or quarters depending on the universities and colleges. Generally goes from late August/early September to late May/early June.
  2. AAUP – Stands for American Associate of University Professors.
  3. A Levels/AS Levels – Stands for Advance level / Advanced Supplementary. They refer to exams which high school student in U.K. take at the end of final year of school in order to apply for undergraduate program.
  4. Audit – This term is widely used in American colleges. These are the classes which are attended to gain knowledge and not for the certificate or diploma. In U.K, these additional lessons are named as Pre-Sessional.
  5. Adviser – A faculty member who help purely on academic matters and advises students about courses and other internships.
  6. Assistantship/Internship/Work study – Generally students get confused with the meaning of these three terms. Assistantship is a financial aid given to students in return for certain services like teaching assistant, laboratory supervision or research assistant. Internship is a practical training that students take generally after one year of college. Work-Study is a program run by federal government where students can work part time on campus and earn to manage their finances at the college.
  7. Carrel – This refers to study area in library which is reserved for graduate students in schools or colleges (sometimes for a fee and sometimes on first come basis)
  8. Credits – This refers to units that schools use to record the completion of course with minimum passing grades to attain an academic degree
  9. Dean – A head of college or a university in America or referred as vice Chancellor for a university in UK
  10. Dorms – Also called Halls of Residence, refers to an area provided by the University for the accommodation of students
  11. Dissertation – Doctorate programs and few masters programs, as the final document, require the presentation of thesis on original topics of research. These documents are referred to as Dissertation.
  12. Fellowship – This refers to a financial assistance granted by Government, school or a university to a graduate student as an award for being an exceptional scholar for further learning where no mandatory service is required in return. Brusary is again a form of financial aid as referred to in the UK
  13. Grade Point Average – A system of recording the average results of all the credit courses achieved throughout the year. These are calculated by multiplying numerical grades by number of credit hours studied
  14. High School – This refers to secondary school in America
  1. Pre-requisite – Refers to program that students must complete before enrolling in more advanced courses or a program
  2. Matriculate/Registration – Matriculate means to enrol in a program or course at a university. However the same meaning applies to term registration in UK
  3. Course /Modules – Module refers to classes or lectures focussed on a specific topic. While course refers to an individual subject that lasts a full term, consisting of various modules
  4. Independent schools – Schools which are run privately by individuals or a non government agency are called private or independent schools. Such institutes generally depend on students’ fees for their funding
  5. IRS – Stands for Internal Revenue Service -A government body that collect income tax from international students who receive taxable scholarship
  6. Ivy League – A term associated with a group of eight highly prestigious and competitive universities located in north-eastern United States. This highly ranked list includes Harvard, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Columbia, Cornell University, Dartmouth and Yale University
  7. SSN – Stands for social security number, issued by the US government and is generally used by the institutes as the student identification number
  8. Sororities – Refers to the society for female students in colleges or universities
  9. Transcript – A certified statement of student’s educational record, number of hours per credit and final grades in each credit and also states the date a degree has been issued
  10. Transfer – When a student moves from one university to another to complete a degree, this refers to a transfer
  11. Undergraduate/Graduate/Postgraduate – Undergraduate refers to program taken as a first degree (such as Bachelor’s) after high school and goes on generally for three to four years. Postgraduate refers to specialized higher education degree taken by students after they have completed undergraduate degree. This is referred as “Graduate “degree in America.

Studying in United States or any other international destination can be confusing if you don’t fully understand the terms or words used in their education system. Thus, getting familiar with the terminology used becomes quite essential before one land there in order to avoid any confusion. The above list of essential terms will help students and parents before one land there. However this list is not exhaustive, the effort was to give the key starting points to help make you familiar with your dream destination.

– Team Leverage

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