I was going through the difference between InE and AmE. To my surprise, the table showed a strange thing.

In InE, they are college and universities; but they are schools in AmE!

Means the US has no colleges? If I say that my friend is studying in school, how do Americans know that the friend is in Medical/Engineering (college) or still studying theorems! In India, if you say that someone is in college, it simply means they are not kids anymore. In fact, if you behave childish in a college, you are most likely to hear, "Behave like a grown up; are you in school?"

According to the table, basic is elementary school; advanced to that is high school, and even advance to that is just school?

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure the "school" I went to "The University of Texas at Austin's College of Communication" would be very interested to know that they're supposed to be called "The School of Texas at Austin's School of Communication"... Can you explain why you think this is correct other than that it's on this list? – Catija Oct 4 '17 at 5:16
  • In India, we use the term 'school' in universities too. The engineering wing in the Cochin University is called the 'school of engineering', and similarly, they have a school of management, school of legal studies and so on. – Varun Nair Oct 4 '17 at 5:23
  • @Catija No idea... why you are in school but actually you go to college! In fact, that is the question! – Maulik V Oct 4 '17 at 5:29
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    I don't think you understand my point. Have you done any research other than read that list to find out if it's correct? Varun seems to even be questioning the veracity of the Indian side of the chart. That chart doesn't even give any context to how the words are used. – Catija Oct 4 '17 at 5:32
  • @VarunKN I'm not talking about the proper noun given to the college which in your case is School of Engineering. A student from that building, in a formal talk, will surely say that he studies in a college. He would be a collegian and not schoolboy! – Maulik V Oct 4 '17 at 5:47

That table is wrong, or at least misleading. We definitely have colleges and universities in the US, and we use those words, and we do not just call them all "schools". But we do use the word "school" to mean almost any kind of educational institution.

A college is where you go after high school, when you are about 18, to get an undergraduate degree.

A university is technically a group of colleges under one administration, although in practice college and university are almost interchangeable.

Here's how the whole thing works in the US:

  • From the age of about six to 12, you go to elementary school.
  • Then from the ages of about 13 through 18 you go to high school. (Sometimes the first two years are called middle school or junior high school.)
  • After high school, you might go to college or a university to get a degree.

But all of them are informally referred to just as "school", and if you attend one, you're "in school" or "going to school". So all of these are possible sentences:

My six-year-old son is starting school today.
My neighbor dropped out of school at the age of 17.
My nephew is going to school at Benton College to study finance.
My daughter is in law school at Brady University.

  • That's what I wanted! Yes, 'education system' is different in different countries. And, it's indeed confusing! – Maulik V Oct 6 '17 at 4:51

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