The difference between pursuing a graduate degree in the United States and the United Kingdom

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I earned both my undergraduate degree and master's degree in the United States. Once I decided that I wanted to stay in academia and a PhD, I struggled to see myself sitting in the classroom for hours repeating coursework, quizzes, and examination for three or four years and then conducting research on my speciality, which would then take another three years. This is the case for many PhD programs in the United States: you have three years to develop your research idea, present at conferences, join research groups, and publish an article as a PhD student. Additionally, PhD supervisors tend to meet their students once or even every other month because of their dedication to their own research, teaching, and other institutional duties.

In the United Kingdom, things are slower, more community-oriented, and balanced. you get to experience an education that I believe is beneficial. In my experience, supervisors are more committed to helping you develop your passion for my research and thesis topic. My supervisor actively makes time for me. The community as doctoral students support one another with dedication and car. Additionally, life in the United Kingdom is much slower than in the United States, so a work-life balance is quite achieveable. You will have the freedom to travel, meet new friends, and have experiences that will positively impact your life.

I am not saying that a United Kingdom graduate program is for everyone, but the idea of experiencing a new education system is something to keep in mind. Leaving for a new country can be a wonderful and terrifying experience at the same time. Yes, you will face challenges if you want to stay in the country where you are studying. But always remember, anything is possible if you are passionate and driven. 

Matthew holds a BS in Mathematics from New York University and an MA in Mathematics Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mathematics Education at the University of East Anglia.


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