Originally Posted by intparent
But the preparation for university should be academic.

You did ask about Ivy League Admissions in your original post. And whether you prefer it to be that way or not, purely academic preparation will not get you into any of the Ivies, probably even the "lesser Ivies", today. There are thousands of other colleges in the US, obviously, and your kids can certainly go to college with minimal EC activity. But this is the way it is for top colleges in the US now.

I am going to take a bit of exception about Finland, which someone mentioned above. One of my kids speaks Finnish (eight years of immersion language camp at her request -- we aren't Finnish but she got interested... a couple years of high school credit, and a summer homestay in Finland). In college she spent a semester at University of Helsinki. She said U of Helsinki was so much easier than her 2nd tier US liberal arts college that it was almost laughable. She thought the difficulty was about what one would expect at a community college here in the US. Not trying to be critical, and I am sure that is not the case with all foreign universities (I know it isn't), but just saying that as rosy as the picture looks in some other countries, the grass isn't really greener when you get there sometimes. This is not my PG kid, either, so you can't really look at through that lens and say she would find any school to be easy.

I think that this may depend on the major as well as the institution - American Universities and Northern European universities differ in that the amount of work that you ''have to do' is less in N. Europe in the humanities because there is an expectation that you *will* read around your chosen subject. Often you do not *have to* to attend lectures, for instance, just do the reading and attend the tutorials. It is not an extension of high school over there - no one is there to make you study...

Last edited by madeinuk; 07/22/13 07:37 AM.

Become what you are