I want to talk about changing schools someday and I want to ask which phrase is the commonest.

  • change schools
  • transfer to another school
  • go to another school
  • move to another school

If anything else is common, I'm glad to hear it.

I will use it when I'm talking to my friend. What is the proper use when you say like "by the way, maybe I'm gonna go to another school."

  • Welcome to ELL! All four expressions are idiomatic. None is more common than any other. To better understand what we do and how we do it, please review our tour and Help Center pages. They will help you ask a better question. Jun 19, 2017 at 0:59
  • When a student changes a school, he/she has to get TC (Transfer Certificate); and this supports your question.
    – Ram Pillai
    Dec 29, 2020 at 2:56

2 Answers 2

  • change schools

This is a common phrase and can be used conversationally.

  • transfer to another school

This is slightly more formal, and might be a better term to use when communicating with the registrar's offices of the two institutions.

  • go to another school

This phrase will work – there is nothing wrong about it – but it could mean something more temporary and less permanent (such as a one-semester exchange study abroad).

  • move to another school

This phrase could work, too, but I probably wouldn't use it unless I was moving to another city. (I probably wouldn't say this if I was going to start going to a different school in the same city as my first.)

In short, in informal conversations, like the one you mention in your question, any of these will work:

By the way, maybe I'm gonna go to another school.
By the way, maybe I'm gonna transfer to Sanders University.
By the way, I'm thinking about changing schools. I'll be attending Sanders in the fall.

And, if Sanders University is not located where you live now:

By the way, I think I'll be moving to Sanders next year.


In your examples

change schools
go to another school
move to another school

are all non specific indicating a change of schooling. "Move to another school" may imply you are moving your residence, because of the word "move" which "change" and "go to another" do not.


transfer to another school

is more specific and implies that credits you have already earned toward a degree will be transferred to the new institution so you will not need to retake requisite courses over again.

When you "transfer to another school", you are doing any one of the first three.

All four statements are commonly used interchangeably.

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