With students going back to uni this week, we thought we'd give you a bit of insight into University life in America. You may complain about not having your mum to put food on the table every night and having to be "independent", but at least in the UK you're legal to go out drinking and don't have to share a room with a stranger.
Freshers Week vs Orientation Week
The one thing everyone thinks about when you hear the words "Freshers Week" is cheap vodka, hangovers and freshers flu. A horrible mixture of things we are all more than willing to put ourselves through to have a good time. With no lectures all week there really isn't an excuse not to get drunk every night, and this is the time to make friends and meet new people, start your crappy food binge and sign up to clubs you'll never attend but receive emails from for the next 3 years.
But how do American Universities do this differently? With University students in America being under the legal drinking age it's all about the house parties drinking from red cups and playing beer pong. Alongside this, sport will take over your life whether you like it or not, but at least cheer leading counts right?! Any form of exercise where we can look good at the same time is a yes from us.
Cheapest You Can Find vs Meal Plans
Student food in the UK is all about finding what's cheapest. Supermarkets own brand products and the reduced section will become your best friend along with the microwave and oven food. Why spend money on delicious meals when you can save it and spend it on alcohol and clothes you can't afford. Beans on toast, Pot Noodles and Pizza are a few student favourites.
Many Universities in America provide you with a meal plan for the first year where all your food is made for you and you eat in the student dining hall. This may be great when you're hungover and can't be bothered to make your own, however they add a nice chunk to your student loan so you'll be paying it back for even longer.
Basic Student Room vs Shared Dorm
One of the best things about going to Uni in the UK is that you get your own room. With all the late nights, making friends and eating food that's terrible for you, you do occasionally have to do some work and you will really appreciate having your own space to do this. The rooms are pretty basic, however going on a trip to ikea to buy all the essentials (and a lot of photo frames and candles you really don't need) is all part of the fun.
It's common to have to share a room at uni and if you're unlucky there may be more than 2 of you. This will probably seem fun at first, however once everything has calmed down after orientation week you will most likely just want your own space. No more watching hours of crappy films on Netflix on your own in bed, getting up at whatever hour you want to and staying up late to text the boy you met at the house party the night before!
We definitely take advantage of our student loans here in the UK. On top of getting a loan to pay off our University fees, we also receive a maintenance loan which helps us with general living. Getting a job is optional as it is just about possible to get through without one, however most students only just manage to make it to pay day without starving as we would rather go out and have fun than work.
The majority of students in the USA have a job whilst studying, and often part of your wage goes directly to pay your student fees. This is a great thing once you've finished uni and your debts aren't as big, however working and studying at the same time isn't ideal.
The UK definitely seems like the best option of the two for somewhere to study, however would the hot American weather top it all?