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By Megan Jenkins
Staff Writer

Since 2000 at Holliston High School (HHS), about 92% of students from each graduating class have attended a college or university. This percentage of students continues to increase as more and more students feel it necessary to attend college due to the competitive job market. With this large percentage of HHS students furthering their education, some have even made the decision to go abroad for their degrees.

Sam Pinto, a current senior at HHS, has taken this step, and will be attending a university in the UK this fall. The senior explains that there are many benefits of going abroad.

In an email interview, Pinto said, “Tuition is cheaper in the UK ( around £9,000 or $13,515), and the education is also more focused. Instead of taking base classes like English, math, and science, university students in England only study their major.”

It is no secret that college tuition in the U.S. is very expensive, arguable the most expensive in the world. For students and families that need financial aid, or are planning on choosing a school based on scholarship financial benefits, going overseas may be an option to consider.

In addition, the time frame that it takes to get a degree in England is also a factor, as “some Bachelor degrees only take 3 years [to earn] as opposed to the standard 4 years in the US,” according to Pinto.

Finally, “going to the UK is a great opportunity to travel and learn about new cultures,” said Pinto.

Mrs. Marybeth  Mont, a guidance counselor at HHS agrees and said, “the ability to learn first hand about the people, culture, economy, and way of life is something that cannot be found in textbooks and provides an enrichment beyond the traditional classroom setting.”

The application process at a school in the UK is similar of applying to a U.S. school, but costs are cheaper. Pinto explained, “I applied to 5 schools using UCAS (The UK version of the Common App). It’s one application that is sent to up to 5 schools for around £30 (less than $40).”

Pinto says that he “applied to the University of Kingston, Queen Mary University of London, the University of Bath, the University of Southampton, and finally, the University of Essex.” He went on to say that unlike in U.S. schools, “when applying to universities in the UK, you can get one of three decisions from the schools; an unsuccessful application, conditional offer, or unconditional offer.”

So how did Pinto do in his college search? He said that “after receiving a conditional offer I accepted the University of Essex as my firm conditional choice and will start studying Modern Languages (Spanish, German, and Chinese) in October. Queen Mary is my insurance choice in case I don’t meet the condition for Essex.”

For students who know what they want to major in, have an urge to travel, and do not get too homesick, going to school abroad is a great option.

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