Different words for the same things depending on which country you're in.

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  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
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    Haha those 80s picture jumpers, my mum made me lots of them! We called those dresses with bib and straps 'tunics' when I was at infant school.

    omg, you Brits make babies go to school? O.o
    lol. Must be what US would call elementary, or grade school. (usually ages 5-11 or so) That's the thing about the US, we have like 7 words for everything, and only some of them are shared by different regions of the country. :D

    Nursery School 2-4
    Infant School 5 -7
    Junior School 7 - 11
    Secondary School 11 - 16 (I think the minimum leaving age has been raised since I went!)

    I think they're all called 'years' now - Year 1, Year 2 etc. We only called them 'years' at grammar school, and they only counted whilst we were at that school (they're carried over from earlier schools now).

    In Australia we have

    Kindergarten (and sometimes pre-kindergarten)
    Pre-primary
    Primary school (year/grade 1-6)
    Highschool (year/grade 7-12. Sometimes year 7-9 is called middle school)
    University - we don't do "college" like in the US

    This varies across Canada. In Alberta we have

    Preschool (voluntary - ages 2-4)
    Kindergarten (voluntary - about age 5)
    Elemntary School (usually grades 1-6, sometimes just to grade 3)
    Middle school (no common - grades 4-9)
    Junior High (grades 7-9)
    Senior High (grades 10-12 and sometimes kids will repeat part of grade 12)

  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
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    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Haha those 80s picture jumpers, my mum made me lots of them! We called those dresses with bib and straps 'tunics' when I was at infant school.

    omg, you Brits make babies go to school? O.o
    lol. Must be what US would call elementary, or grade school. (usually ages 5-11 or so) That's the thing about the US, we have like 7 words for everything, and only some of them are shared by different regions of the country. :D

    Nursery School 2-4
    Infant School 5 -7
    Junior School 7 - 11
    Secondary School 11 - 16 (I think the minimum leaving age has been raised since I went!)

    I think they're all called 'years' now - Year 1, Year 2 etc. We only called them 'years' at grammar school, and they only counted whilst we were at that school (they're carried over from earlier schools now).

    In Australia we have

    Kindergarten (and sometimes pre-kindergarten)
    Pre-primary
    Primary school (year/grade 1-6)
    Highschool (year/grade 7-12. Sometimes year 7-9 is called middle school)
    University - we don't do "college" like in the US

    This varies across Canada. In Alberta we have

    Preschool (voluntary - ages 2-4)
    Kindergarten (voluntary - about age 5)
    Elemntary School (usually grades 1-6, sometimes just to grade 3)
    Middle school (no common - grades 4-9)
    Junior High (grades 7-9)
    Senior High (grades 10-12 and sometimes kids will repeat part of grade 12)

    In the US these are the same, and they vary between districts. Where I live we have early learning (preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade), elementary school (2nd-6th), middle school (7th-8th), and high school (9th-12th). Even this changes over time...my dad graduated from the district in 1972 and had junior high 7th-9th. I graduated in 2000 and had just 7th and 8th junior high, and they changed the name to being middle school when I was in 10th grade so that's where my brother, who's four years younger than me, went. And the early learning school only started up 2-3 years ago, before then elementary was all kindergarten-6th grade. One town over, they have elementary kindergarten-4th and middle school 5th-8th.

    Then there's our labels for high school grades. Freshman year-9th, sophomore year-10th, junior year-11th, and senior year-12th. I've heard foreign people get confused by that.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,994 Member
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    malibu927 wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Haha those 80s picture jumpers, my mum made me lots of them! We called those dresses with bib and straps 'tunics' when I was at infant school.

    omg, you Brits make babies go to school? O.o
    lol. Must be what US would call elementary, or grade school. (usually ages 5-11 or so) That's the thing about the US, we have like 7 words for everything, and only some of them are shared by different regions of the country. :D

    Nursery School 2-4
    Infant School 5 -7
    Junior School 7 - 11
    Secondary School 11 - 16 (I think the minimum leaving age has been raised since I went!)

    I think they're all called 'years' now - Year 1, Year 2 etc. We only called them 'years' at grammar school, and they only counted whilst we were at that school (they're carried over from earlier schools now).

    In Australia we have

    Kindergarten (and sometimes pre-kindergarten)
    Pre-primary
    Primary school (year/grade 1-6)
    Highschool (year/grade 7-12. Sometimes year 7-9 is called middle school)
    University - we don't do "college" like in the US

    This varies across Canada. In Alberta we have

    Preschool (voluntary - ages 2-4)
    Kindergarten (voluntary - about age 5)
    Elemntary School (usually grades 1-6, sometimes just to grade 3)
    Middle school (no common - grades 4-9)
    Junior High (grades 7-9)
    Senior High (grades 10-12 and sometimes kids will repeat part of grade 12)

    In the US these are the same, and they vary between districts. Where I live we have early learning (preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade), elementary school (2nd-6th), middle school (7th-8th), and high school (9th-12th). Even this changes over time...my dad graduated from the district in 1972 and had junior high 7th-9th. I graduated in 2000 and had just 7th and 8th junior high, and they changed the name to being middle school when I was in 10th grade so that's where my brother, who's four years younger than me, went. And the early learning school only started up 2-3 years ago, before then elementary was all kindergarten-6th grade. One town over, they have elementary kindergarten-4th and middle school 5th-8th.

    Then there's our labels for high school grades. Freshman year-9th, sophomore year-10th, junior year-11th, and senior year-12th. I've heard foreign people get confused by that.

    Foreign people ... like Canadians and Australians. :) Freshman, sophomore, etc. are terms used for university level education.
  • malibu927
    malibu927 Posts: 17,565 Member
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    Machka9 wrote: »
    malibu927 wrote: »
    nvmomketo wrote: »
    Haha those 80s picture jumpers, my mum made me lots of them! We called those dresses with bib and straps 'tunics' when I was at infant school.

    omg, you Brits make babies go to school? O.o
    lol. Must be what US would call elementary, or grade school. (usually ages 5-11 or so) That's the thing about the US, we have like 7 words for everything, and only some of them are shared by different regions of the country. :D

    Nursery School 2-4
    Infant School 5 -7
    Junior School 7 - 11
    Secondary School 11 - 16 (I think the minimum leaving age has been raised since I went!)

    I think they're all called 'years' now - Year 1, Year 2 etc. We only called them 'years' at grammar school, and they only counted whilst we were at that school (they're carried over from earlier schools now).

    In Australia we have

    Kindergarten (and sometimes pre-kindergarten)
    Pre-primary
    Primary school (year/grade 1-6)
    Highschool (year/grade 7-12. Sometimes year 7-9 is called middle school)
    University - we don't do "college" like in the US

    This varies across Canada. In Alberta we have

    Preschool (voluntary - ages 2-4)
    Kindergarten (voluntary - about age 5)
    Elemntary School (usually grades 1-6, sometimes just to grade 3)
    Middle school (no common - grades 4-9)
    Junior High (grades 7-9)
    Senior High (grades 10-12 and sometimes kids will repeat part of grade 12)

    In the US these are the same, and they vary between districts. Where I live we have early learning (preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade), elementary school (2nd-6th), middle school (7th-8th), and high school (9th-12th). Even this changes over time...my dad graduated from the district in 1972 and had junior high 7th-9th. I graduated in 2000 and had just 7th and 8th junior high, and they changed the name to being middle school when I was in 10th grade so that's where my brother, who's four years younger than me, went. And the early learning school only started up 2-3 years ago, before then elementary was all kindergarten-6th grade. One town over, they have elementary kindergarten-4th and middle school 5th-8th.

    Then there's our labels for high school grades. Freshman year-9th, sophomore year-10th, junior year-11th, and senior year-12th. I've heard foreign people get confused by that.

    Foreign people ... like Canadians and Australians. :) Freshman, sophomore, etc. are terms used for university level education.

    Even more, according to my French professor :D

    We use them for college/university as well, so you basically go through the run twice.
  • Eleniala
    Eleniala Posts: 87 Member
    edited December 2016
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    I'm in the US. From what I understand here, universities are somewhat large institutions with multiple colleges (college of engineering, college of nursing, college of natural sciences, etc). But there are smaller 4 year colleges, including many of the liberal arts schools.

    The main difference between colleges and universities in the US is that a university offers graduate programs (Law School, Medical School, MBA etc.) in addition to at least one undergraduate degree. While you can obtain an undergraduate degree (Bachelors) at a university, you cannot obtain a graduate degree (Masters, Juris Doctor etc.) at a college.
  • Dnarules
    Dnarules Posts: 2,081 Member
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    Eleniala wrote: »
    I'm in the US. From what I understand here, universities are somewhat large institutions with multiple colleges (college of engineering, college of nursing, college of natural sciences, etc). But there are smaller 4 year colleges, including many of the liberal arts schools.

    The main difference between colleges and universities in the US is that a university offers graduate programs (Law School, Medical School, MBA etc.) in addition to at least one undergraduate degree. While you can obtain an undergraduate degree (Bachelors) at a university, you cannot obtain a graduate degree (Masters, Juris Doctor etc.) at a college.

    Yes, this too :).
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    Dnarules wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    To be fair many of our colleges serve as feeder institutions to the university.

    So they go to college, then when they want to study for a specific career then the move on to somewhere like Yale?

    Everything i know about the US is learnt from American movies lol which as we all know are true to life :tongue:

    Speaking of American movies/shows.. I don't watch any Aussie tv shows and very rarely watch movies made here, cos they're usually low budget crap. Not all, but most...

    All my faves are American. I can't to British shows either, as for someone reason they are depressingto me.. So you guys over the pond :wink:

    From what I understand in Victoria and Tasmania, there's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Primary School (Grade 1-7, typically ages 6-12)
    High School (Grade 8-10 or 11, typically ages 13-15 or 16)

    Then either college which is the equivalent of Canada's Grades 11 and 12, or maybe just 12.

    Then a person can go on to vocational college (such as TAFE) or to University.

    Even once we get up to the Master's level it is different from the way Canada did it when I was there. In Canada it was Bachelor's ... Master's. Nothing in between. Here, I can do it that way, or take it in stages (which I've done) to get my Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and then Master's.


    In Canada, it's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Elementary School (Grade 1-6, typically ages 6-11)
    Middle School (Grade 7 - 9, typically ages 12 - 14)
    High School (Grade 10 - 12, typically ages 15-18)

    Then you go on to college. There are vocational colleges or pre-university colleges. I've been to both. If you go the pre-university route, you attend the college for a year or two, then transfer to the university to finish your 4-5 year degree.

    I was always confused by the difference between college and university. Then I hear people talk about giving up a low end job and going back to school, and they seem to mean college or university.

    Yes ... college is usually a place where you'll take an 18-month Business Administration course or a 6-month Welding course or something like that. You get practical skills which can get you into a decent job.

    University is a place where you'll get a degree. You'll get theoretical knowledge which may or may not get you into a decent job depending on the area you've chosen.

    I'm in the US. From what I understand here, universities are somewhat large institutions with multiple colleges (college of engineering, college of nursing, college of natural sciences, etc). But there are smaller 4 year colleges, including many of the liberal arts schools.

    In FL, many of the two year community colleges became four year state colleges where you could get a bachelor's degree.

    I've always found it somewhat confusing.

    Yes, in the US a college is a post high school school that offers a degree. Community colleges are colleges, but so are many quite elite and hard to get into schools (similar to Yale, which was mentioned, and which is a university). A university is a school that consists of multiple colleges, including (usually) those that offer graduate degrees. Someone can go to an undergraduate college (or school) at a university and then go on to get a graduate degree at another school, if they need to, or they can graduate from that school with a BA, same degree that someone might graduate from a college that is only that one college (such as Amherst, Dartmouth, etc.) with.

    Added wrinkle is that some colleges and universities have residential "colleges" that aren't about the degree you get.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    I live in a place originally settled by the Dutch and Germans, some call us Pennsylvania Dutch. We have some very interesting phrases that people who are honest-to-goodness PA Dutch use on the regular:

    Red up=clean up
    mox nix=that is irrelevant
    dippy eggs=over easy eggs
    kutz=vomit
    doplich=clumsy
    rutsching=wiggling around, squirming
    spritzing=lightly raining
    outen the lights=turn off the lights
    offish rag=dish towel
    fressin=snacking, looking around for things to eat

    For "vomit", my wife who grew up in England called it "being sick". I thought being sick was any form of unwellness.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    What's that dot you put at the end of a sentence? At school it was a "full stop" as opposed to a comma, or semi-colon, etc. I hate hearing it called a "period". Reminds me of my mother and sisters and daughters and that monthly thing.
  • CurlyCockney
    CurlyCockney Posts: 1,394 Member
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    So many ways of saying "vomit"! I'm not sure how many of these are east London centric but I'll try and list:

    Vomit - If your dog/cat does it, or if you're talking to someone medical.
    Technicolour yawn - If it's one of those unexpected projectile ones.
    Pavement pizza - If you see the remains of it outside.
    Upchucking, spewing or throwing up - what you call it to anyone who is not medical.
    Talking to Uncle Hughie on the porcelain telephone - particularly bad upchuck, but at least you made it to the toilet!
    Vurp - Those belches where you get a bit of vomit in your mouth (a portmanteau word from 'vomit' and 'burp')
  • CurlyCockney
    CurlyCockney Posts: 1,394 Member
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    I used to get confused when US telly programmes (yes, that's how we spell 'programs') talked of people being pissed. Here, pissed means drunk. Pissed off is the UK phrase equivalent to US pissed.

    And if any of that gets kittened out, it's the p word for urine.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    I live in a place originally settled by the Dutch and Germans, some call us Pennsylvania Dutch. We have some very interesting phrases that people who are honest-to-goodness PA Dutch use on the regular:

    Red up=clean up
    mox nix=that is irrelevant
    dippy eggs=over easy eggs
    kutz=vomit
    doplich=clumsy
    rutsching=wiggling around, squirming
    spritzing=lightly raining
    outen the lights=turn off the lights
    offish rag=dish towel
    fressin=snacking, looking around for things to eat

    For "vomit", my wife who grew up in England called it "being sick". I thought being sick was any form of unwellness.

    In the US that's a common way to say "vomiting" too. Context demonstrates what is meant.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    edited December 2016
    Options
    Machka9 wrote: »
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    To be fair many of our colleges serve as feeder institutions to the university.

    So they go to college, then when they want to study for a specific career then the move on to somewhere like Yale?

    Everything i know about the US is learnt from American movies lol which as we all know are true to life :tongue:

    Speaking of American movies/shows.. I don't watch any Aussie tv shows and very rarely watch movies made here, cos they're usually low budget crap. Not all, but most...

    All my faves are American. I can't to British shows either, as for someone reason they are depressingto me.. So you guys over the pond :wink:

    From what I understand in Victoria and Tasmania, there's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Primary School (Grade 1-7, typically ages 6-12)
    High School (Grade 8-10 or 11, typically ages 13-15 or 16)

    Then either college which is the equivalent of Canada's Grades 11 and 12, or maybe just 12.

    Then a person can go on to vocational college (such as TAFE) or to University.

    Even once we get up to the Master's level it is different from the way Canada did it when I was there. In Canada it was Bachelor's ... Master's. Nothing in between. Here, I can do it that way, or take it in stages (which I've done) to get my Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and then Master's.


    In Canada, it's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Elementary School (Grade 1-6, typically ages 6-11)
    Middle School (Grade 7 - 9, typically ages 12 - 14)
    High School (Grade 10 - 12, typically ages 15-18)

    Then you go on to college. There are vocational colleges or pre-university colleges. I've been to both. If you go the pre-university route, you attend the college for a year or two, then transfer to the university to finish your 4-5 year degree.

    I was always confused by the difference between college and university. Then I hear people talk about giving up a low end job and going back to school, and they seem to mean college or university.

    Yes ... college is usually a place where you'll take an 18-month Business Administration course or a 6-month Welding course or something like that. You get practical skills which can get you into a decent job.

    University is a place where you'll get a degree. You'll get theoretical knowledge which may or may not get you into a decent job depending on the area you've chosen.

    Interesting. I've always thought it's just American slang for university. So a 5 year degree can't be called "collage"?

    In other words, does the informal "back in college" become "back in university" if you have a 5 year engineering degree?
  • BruinsGal_91
    BruinsGal_91 Posts: 1,400 Member
    Options
    Great thread! I'm English (from oop North, so it's breakfast, dinner, tea) but have lived in the States for the past ten years. The two words/expressions I learned the fasted were 'cell phone' and 'rest room'.

    On my first day at work, one of my new colleagues said "ooh, I love your pants, they're so cute". I don't think she was expecting my reaction to be a complete look of horror on my face before running to the toilet to check my knickers weren't showing.

    Oh, and It took me six years to figure out that 'arugula' wasn't some scary exotic ingredient, and I didn't need to avoid it.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited December 2016
    Options
    Machka9 wrote: »
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    To be fair many of our colleges serve as feeder institutions to the university.

    So they go to college, then when they want to study for a specific career then the move on to somewhere like Yale?

    Everything i know about the US is learnt from American movies lol which as we all know are true to life :tongue:

    Speaking of American movies/shows.. I don't watch any Aussie tv shows and very rarely watch movies made here, cos they're usually low budget crap. Not all, but most...

    All my faves are American. I can't to British shows either, as for someone reason they are depressingto me.. So you guys over the pond :wink:

    From what I understand in Victoria and Tasmania, there's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Primary School (Grade 1-7, typically ages 6-12)
    High School (Grade 8-10 or 11, typically ages 13-15 or 16)

    Then either college which is the equivalent of Canada's Grades 11 and 12, or maybe just 12.

    Then a person can go on to vocational college (such as TAFE) or to University.

    Even once we get up to the Master's level it is different from the way Canada did it when I was there. In Canada it was Bachelor's ... Master's. Nothing in between. Here, I can do it that way, or take it in stages (which I've done) to get my Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and then Master's.


    In Canada, it's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Elementary School (Grade 1-6, typically ages 6-11)
    Middle School (Grade 7 - 9, typically ages 12 - 14)
    High School (Grade 10 - 12, typically ages 15-18)

    Then you go on to college. There are vocational colleges or pre-university colleges. I've been to both. If you go the pre-university route, you attend the college for a year or two, then transfer to the university to finish your 4-5 year degree.

    I was always confused by the difference between college and university. Then I hear people talk about giving up a low end job and going back to school, and they seem to mean college or university.

    Yes ... college is usually a place where you'll take an 18-month Business Administration course or a 6-month Welding course or something like that. You get practical skills which can get you into a decent job.

    University is a place where you'll get a degree. You'll get theoretical knowledge which may or may not get you into a decent job depending on the area you've chosen.

    Interesting. I've always thought it's just American slang for university. So a 5 year degree can't be called "collage"?

    In other words, does the informal "back in college" become "back in university" if you have a 5 year engineering degree?

    Machka9 is talking about Canada, no?

    In the US the distinction is what I said above. Most engineering schools will be within universities (most colleges that are just colleges will offer a B.A. -- they are liberal arts colleges if we aren't talking about something like a community college. And as I noted schools that are formally just colleges (because they only contain the one degree/school) are often quite good schools (like Amherst, Williams, Dartmouth, Bryn Mawr, etc.).

    Also, if it's undergraduate (ends with a B.S., not a Masters or above), the engineering school itself is probably a college. For example, within the University of Michigan (a university that offers many degrees and has a number of schools), you can get a BS from the College of Engineering.

    Undergraduate schools that specialize in just engineering and science (and often offer BAs as well as BS degrees) tend to be called Schools (Colorado School of Mines) or Institutes of Technology (MIT, CalTech, etc.), or such things.

    Colloquially, going for an undergraduate degree will be "going to college" in the US (however long you are spending). For grad school it's normally "yeah, still going to school," not college, IME.
  • Carlos_421
    Carlos_421 Posts: 5,132 Member
    Options
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Dnarules wrote: »
    U.S./Canada
    candy bar/chocolate bar
    trash/garbage
    gutter/eavestrough
    railing/bannister

    I'm in the US and I say chocolate bar, garbage and bannister, but not eavestrough.

    I say soda and not pop. We do have scones here as well. I live in an area that was originally settled by the Germans.

    Also, I "use the restroom".

    I use the term restroom, too. For some reason, it drives my 14 year old crazy. So now I make sure to do it more :).

    But why is it a "restroom"? You don't go there to rest!!

    Speak for yourself.

    True story: my best friend is a mailman and one year during the Christmas rush he was having to work around 120 hours a week (he was still a "temp" at the time and wasn't in the union so didn't have the luxury of turning down the overtime if he wanted to keep the job). He would work all day, sleep in his truck in the parking lot (so that he wouldn't have to spend precious sleeping time commuting) and go right back to work.
    One day he goes into the restroom, sits down to make a deposit...and falls asleep, slumped up against the stall wall.
    He wakes up to his supervisor knocking on the stall door, "Steve, I know you're tired buddy but I need you to wake up and work. I gave you two hours to nap it off but it's time to get back at it."
  • Carlos_421
    Carlos_421 Posts: 5,132 Member
    Options
    The one that got me forever was "jumper." I only read it in stories and could not figure out what it meant. US translation = sweater.

    Which is weird because here, a jumper is like the illegitimate child of a skirt and bib overalls.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,442 Member
    Options
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    The one that got me forever was "jumper." I only read it in stories and could not figure out what it meant. US translation = sweater.

    Which is weird because here, a jumper is like the illegitimate child of a skirt and bib overalls.

    Right?!? Which is why when I was reading something, and it said the person "threw on a jumper to go outside," I was trying to figure out why they were sitting around inside in their underwear and a shirt. Extra confusing when it was a male.

  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,997 Member
    Options
    I used to get confused when US telly programmes (yes, that's how we spell 'programs') talked of people being pissed. Here, pissed means drunk. Pissed off is the UK phrase equivalent to US pissed.

    And if any of that gets kittened out, it's the p word for urine.

    We say pissed off too. Sometimes we just get lazy and shorten it to pissed.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    Options
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Machka9 wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    To be fair many of our colleges serve as feeder institutions to the university.

    So they go to college, then when they want to study for a specific career then the move on to somewhere like Yale?

    Everything i know about the US is learnt from American movies lol which as we all know are true to life :tongue:

    Speaking of American movies/shows.. I don't watch any Aussie tv shows and very rarely watch movies made here, cos they're usually low budget crap. Not all, but most...

    All my faves are American. I can't to British shows either, as for someone reason they are depressingto me.. So you guys over the pond :wink:

    From what I understand in Victoria and Tasmania, there's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Primary School (Grade 1-7, typically ages 6-12)
    High School (Grade 8-10 or 11, typically ages 13-15 or 16)

    Then either college which is the equivalent of Canada's Grades 11 and 12, or maybe just 12.

    Then a person can go on to vocational college (such as TAFE) or to University.

    Even once we get up to the Master's level it is different from the way Canada did it when I was there. In Canada it was Bachelor's ... Master's. Nothing in between. Here, I can do it that way, or take it in stages (which I've done) to get my Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, and then Master's.


    In Canada, it's ...

    Kindergarten/Preschool at the age of 5.
    Elementary School (Grade 1-6, typically ages 6-11)
    Middle School (Grade 7 - 9, typically ages 12 - 14)
    High School (Grade 10 - 12, typically ages 15-18)

    Then you go on to college. There are vocational colleges or pre-university colleges. I've been to both. If you go the pre-university route, you attend the college for a year or two, then transfer to the university to finish your 4-5 year degree.

    I was always confused by the difference between college and university. Then I hear people talk about giving up a low end job and going back to school, and they seem to mean college or university.

    Yes ... college is usually a place where you'll take an 18-month Business Administration course or a 6-month Welding course or something like that. You get practical skills which can get you into a decent job.

    University is a place where you'll get a degree. You'll get theoretical knowledge which may or may not get you into a decent job depending on the area you've chosen.

    Interesting. I've always thought it's just American slang for university. So a 5 year degree can't be called "collage"?

    In other words, does the informal "back in college" become "back in university" if you have a 5 year engineering degree?

    Machka9 is talking about Canada, no?

    In the US the distinction is what I said above. Most engineering schools will be within universities (most colleges that are just colleges will offer a B.A. -- they are liberal arts colleges if we aren't talking about something like a community college. And as I noted schools that are formally just colleges (because they only contain the one degree/school) are often quite good schools (like Amherst, Williams, Dartmouth, Bryn Mawr, etc.).

    Also, if it's undergraduate (ends with a B.S., not a Masters or above), the engineering school itself is probably a college. For example, within the University of Michigan (a university that offers many degrees and has a number of schools), you can get a BS from the College of Engineering.

    Undergraduate schools that specialize in just engineering and science (and often offer BAs as well as BS degrees) tend to be called Schools (Colorado School of Mines) or Institutes of Technology (MIT, CalTech, etc.), or such things.

    Colloquially, going for an undergraduate degree will be "going to college" in the US (however long you are spending). For grad school it's normally "yeah, still going to school," not college, IME.

    That's cool, and kind of more complicated compared to what we have here. We basically only have two kinds of establishments to choose from after finishing grade school (12 years): community colleges (2 year degrees) and universities (several colleges within a university and 4-6 years worth of credits for undergraduate depending on the major + Masters and above all available for any given specialization within the same university). I have a BS in engineering, so I guess I was right all along to say "back in college" when talking about my university days. "school" sounds odd to me because we use it to refer exclusively to grade school.