George Bernard Shaw said England and America are two countries separated by a common language. This is certainly true when it comes to academic terminology. Below are some of the most common and confusing examples of how our vocabularies differ. For a more complete list, consult the “Glossary of Terms” section of the UK Universities, Colleges, and Schools Handbook published by the British Council and available in our study abroad resource room.
You might also find the following book useful. It does more than discuss differences in vocabulary. It gets to the core of differences in culture, and in an entertaining way: Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide, by Jane Walmsley (Revised Edition 2003).
|UK Term||US Translation|
|Course||Degree program or major|
|Further Education College||Community College|
|Joint Honors Degree||Double Major|