By: Tara Smith
College life in the United States of America has a varied reputation. While most people may see American colleges as either “party schools” or institutes with their sights set on integrity and success, the one fact remembered is that they represent freedom and the chance to become a part of the “American dream”: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The notion that colleges in the USA are being looked upon by the world brings about a point that isn’t discussed very often: what about the American point-of-view? How do we see colleges in other parts of the globe? It would take quite a bit of paper to go into detail about colleges everywhere, so this article will be more focused on Irish students’ lives at universities and how American students see them.
One major point is that they are more focused on their studies. While most American students are driven to succeed, Irish students appear more goal-oriented and less prone to distractions, such as partying in college dorms. While the Irish are famous for their pubs, they use drinking more as a socializing tool instead of a drinking-to-get-drunk method. Another factor that could be associated with focus on studies is the graduation rate. The USA used to be a close runner-up to Canada, considered the country with the highest rate of graduating college seniors. Nowadays, it has been brought down the list. There is one case study that ranks the USA as #4 of the most educated countries (http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/top10-most-educated-countries-in-the-world/), but there is also another case study that ranks the USA as #12 and Ireland at #6 (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0809/Countries-with-the-highest-college-graduation-rates/Ireland-43.9-percent). The reason stated in the case study was that Ireland has grown 2% every year and that most of those students go on to be a part of a job market predominantly made up of employees with higher education. As for the USA, a reason why they may have been bumped down on the list is stated in another case study (http://www.angrybearblog.com/2012/04/guest-post-america-shows-no-increase-in.html), which basically states that the USA has been stagnant for at least 30 years while other countries have slowly been increasing their numbers.
Another point that can be made in favor of Irish students is that they embrace multiculturalism and do their best to bridge gaps internationally. American students’ studies don’t divulge a lot of information about different cultures; the opposite looks to be true for Irish students. An example to lend credibility to this claim can be found at Trinity College by Grafton Street in Dublin. When you first walk in through the main entrance, there are a lot of notice boards on display. There is one board in particular that displays a variety of international students attempting to reach out to one another. The notices range from learning and practicing different languages to organizations dedicated to promoting awareness of intercultural groups and opportunities to meet new people from different parts of the world. While there are organizations like these in USA colleges, they aren’t as heavily-promoted and supported.
Even though colleges in the USA are highly-desirable to international students, there are other schools across the globe that could be more beneficial to attend. Ireland is a prime example of this. If their students, with their open-mindedness and multicultural outlook on the world, are the end result of a completed education in Irish colleges, American students and institutions could learn something from them. Not only would it improve international relationships between the two countries, it also has the potential to help the USA to escape their stagnant trend and climb the list of increased graduation rates.
Yeah! English its belong to Yeah magazines an online and physically magazine for the international student in Ireland.