Studying in the USA vs. Studying in the UK


As per the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019, over half of the top 200 universities/colleges in the world are situated in either the USA or the UK. If you are planning to study abroad in an English-speaking country, there are so many good options in one of these countries for you.

If you are considering studying in the USA or the UK but are not sure which country to call home, then no need to look further. We have put our heads together to present this comprehensive guide to student life in both countries. No one is a winner here as you have full control over which country you would like to fly for higher education.

Let us get started with our comparison based on the factors listed below.

Factor 1: Studying in the USA vs Studying in the UK

  • USA: You will start your studies here by completing around 2 years of required classes in subjects like math, science, and history. And at some point, you will have to declare a major – which subject you would like to study and get your degree in. Exams in the USA-based universities/colleges held at the end of each semester, so twice every year. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree will take 4 years in the USA, with an additional 2 years for a master’s program.
  • UK: In the UK, you will study only one subject. The good thing about this country is that you will get more free time for self-study. Exams in the UK universities/colleges typically held once a year during spring and early summer. It will take you 3 years to complete your bachelor’s degree with an additional 1 or 2 years for a master’s program.

Factor 2: Living while Studying in the USA vs Studying in the UK

  • USA: It is all about being on campus in the USA. You will live, attend classes, eat your food, read your mails, enjoy late-night snacks, and do your laundry all within a couple of blocks only. Sharing dormitory rooms (usually called dorm rooms in the USA), and not getting enough options to choose your roommate is normal. However, all these elements make the campus experience in the USA more fun.
  • UK: This country is also referred to as the ‘Old Student Cities’. Therefore, residences here can range from typical red-brick city-centre apartments to the ultra-modern and advanced out-of-town complexes. Transportation facilities in the UK for students are pretty good. Towns are well-connected and all essential amenities and services are located nearby.

Factor 3: Hanging Out while Studying in the USA vs Studying in the UK

  • USA: From basketball to football and dodge-ball to baseball, sports dominate the life of the students in the USA. A normal game day starts with tailgating in the stadium parking area (which means grilling mouth-watering hotdogs and playing corn-hole) and ends with celebrating victory with a party. When there is not a game day, you must check the calendar of your university as there is almost always something fun and exciting going on.
  • UK: Unlike sprawling USA metropolises, the UK cities – particularly London, have so many different downtown areas. Whether you are looking for bawling, a movie or dinner, you can head to the out-of-town malls. There are so many good yet economical spots you can visit to spend your free time.

Factor 4: Going Out while Studying in the USA vs Studying in the UK

  • USA: To get great deals and discounts, students need to show their university ID cards at almost all local shops or restaurants. Local businesses also know this fact, hence, they keep special offers for students. You can also avail those offers but keep in mind that the legal age for drinking in the USA is 21 though some places will allow you to dance a little if you are 18.
  • UK: The famous ‘pub culture’ in the UK is the biggest part of student life. Here, you will get three types of venues – traditional pubs, gastro-pubs, and fancy gastro-pubs with fancy food options. So whether you have a restricted budget or have more dollars in the pocket, you will get so many suitable options to enjoy your leisure time.

Closing Remarks

While both countries provide students with a great education, each system approaches education a bit differently, and there are ins and outs to each. If you are considering these two countries for your higher education, you should consider the factors mentioned above.

In case you still find yourself confused, contact AEC. We have a team of dedicated professionals to help you find the best-fit options for your career. Once you decide on your preferred country, we will help you shortlist the best universities/colleges and courses available as per your interest, education background, skills, and career objectives.

Once you find your options, we will help you in the admission process, study visa, and scholarships.

Scroll to Top