What Makes USA Education Really Unique? Excellence.

Raghuram Sukumar Student Stories 30 Comments

Following is a guest post submitted by HSB reader who requested not to publish the name and college.

This is the famous dialogue from the famous movie “3 idiots” . But it has it’s own value and more importance in the life of the students who wants to pursue master’s in USA.

Success ke peeche mat bhaago .. excellence ka peecha karo .. kamyabi jhak maar k tumhare peeche ayegi MEANS if you want to be successful person, then don’t aim for being successful but instead aim for being excellent.

Education in USA

Welcome to land of opportunities which we call United States of America. Has anyone of you students ever think about what makes USA education unique. Have you really thought about it ?

You will say that it is more advance, it has cutting edge technology, it has more money, high living standards.

But really, what is the reason? What is the actual reason?

It is just a word i.e. “Excellence”

In India, 99% professors in 99% colleges have made 99% students habitual of doing nothing and credit goes to poor education plan, rote system, failure of motivation, boring classroom sessions, lack of interaction between student and teacher, politics and various other reason.

We have been taught from the beginning that if you will not get 90% percent marks, you will be left behind.

You will not have job. Society will not respect those who don’t have job and blah blah blah.

Result, lot of students just start studying for the purpose that they want to have job.

Their purpose is not to actual learn something from whatever they are studying but their goal is to get the job. And this is where the problem starts.

They get caught up in the education system which has no practical approach, which still goes with 5 year old curriculum where in the world every day some discovery is being made.

Having no practical approach in the studies and learning the definitions and formulas will not get you anywhere, least of all USA.

If you really want your life to be lot easier, then start doing your assignments yourself.

Get involved in the research, be genuinely interested in your subject.

Start looking for every problem in your studies or whatever you are studying with different angles. Start looking at every problem in your life with different angles.

That’s how you train yourself to become master of your field and this is the start you will definitely need when you will be in USA because the moment you will get out of your first ever class in the united states, you will feel ashamed of the education system of your college back in India.

Simply because of the fact that it is not based on excellence. It is based on grading for which frankly, no one will ever give a damn about.

Education in United States

In Unites states, you will just not learn about what you are here to learn, but also you will learn about what actually education is.

As in one scene of 3 IDIOTS, actor says to his professor,” I was teaching you how to teach the class“.

Same applies here. No professor will care about the grades as long as you are showing them you are actually learning, you are showing them you are actually applying your mind and you are showing them you have the capability to have an analytical approach of solving the problem.

They don’t want to see you passing the college with 4.0 GPA. They want you to leave the college with the knowledge that will help you to contribute to your field.

They want you learn that life is not about grades and race with someone.

It is about self improvisation, vision, dreams, honesty, integrity and excellent knowledge of your subject.

Why do you think they have colleges like MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, UPENN, UPittsburgh, UNCC, U of Minnesota, Cornell and many others and all of which rank among top 50 everytime.

Why do you think they have maximum number of discoveries to their credit?

It is because of their education system.

I am in the class of 4 students and was able to answer some of the tough questions just because of analytical approach of solving the problems back in India.

Don’t gloat if you get admit from any US university because believe me, the actual thing is about to come.

Have a beer the night you get admit, but from next day you will have to get back to work and study even harder because my friend, Life is not easy and it will never be. Not even in the USA.

Here are some brilliant minds that you will find around yourself, which you find even in India but they often get lost.

These brilliant minds are such a company which can either motivate you or demotivate you, can make or break your life.

Have competition with such brilliant minds.

Have competition with their excellence and who knows, you might achieve excellence but just competing with their excellence.


  1. I am impressed with this post. Honestly, I couldn’t have added anything to what was written above. An excellent write – up that grasps the excellence of US education and what makes US education the envy of the world. This is a must read post for any aspirant to the USA for further education.

  2. Although I’m going to US this fall, I don’t need to attend the classes to know how much of a shithole this useless Indian education system is. All focus on attendance, discipline, and regurgitating during the exam ; useless things like enjoying the subject, interacting with the professor are discouraged. It’s why India’s education will always be like this, static and moribund. I can’t wait to land at my (top 5) uni and get a taste of what education is really like, not this pitiful excuse I’ve been subjected to.

    Before anyone shouts out “It’s not like that in the IITs/NITs blah blah blah, I am from one of the IITs. And before anyone shouts out I’m not patriotic, I watched online lectures of professors from MIT and UC Berkeley and that’s what motivated me to go for MS, not the so called “greener pastures” of the West. (Indeed, if the spoilt jerks of Greece and Spain continue any further, they’ll bring down Europe and with that, pretty much all the greener pastures a lot of Indians love.

    1. Seriously??! I feel it is a little too harsh words on a Indian Education System in support of the US’s for a person coming from the IITs… Dont your realize the Indian Univ are very young compared to the US Univs?? For that matter, even our Country is young… It needs time to grow… I feel what you see in US is an evolution of their education system over 150 years and most of the Ivy league univs were setup nearly 100 years after their Independence. On the other hand, India started setting up univs as soon as they got the Independence and these univs are already challenging some of the best minds from the univs which are 3 times old with more funding and more experience…

      1. Even I know it is too harsh, but unfortunately it’s true. And to your last sentence, the Indian unis are nowhere near being a challenge to the US unis, but the graduates who are intelligent, can definitely match up to anyone. (I believe Jairam Ramesh said something similar.)

    2. you must not compare oranges with apples. can you ever compare maruti / tata with toyota / honda? one is good value for money ( ie indian education ) and the other one is luxury car. education in usa is commercialized just like their health system. what’s the point of having it if it out of the reach of common man? type “college conspiracy” in youtube and you will get the answer. if we look at the history, after the independence war, usa modeled their education on europe – don’t forget the fact that renaissance happened in europe. german education is top-notch and free! people will always prefer a skoda / volks over a ford / gm. german engg, das auto!! an indian student always has more knowledge than his american counterpart as we don’t have liberal courses included in our engg syllabus.

      1. what’s the point of having it if it out of the reach of common man?

        take my case for instance. scored 1300+ in gre last year but couldn’t afford and declined.

      2. With all due respect, I don’t agree with you. Education is education, and can be compared, they are not akin to apples and oranges. Second, the Indian higher education is not worth even the paltry tuition amounts that we spend. It is that worthless. Third, a serious Indian student has nowhere near the amount of knowledge as his/her American counterpart, as we are dumped constantly with theory and MINIMUM PRACTICE/LABS. Yes, theory is good but only till an extent. Nobody ever made it far by “saying” they know how to do a task rather than “showing” that they know how to do the task.

        1. dear rushika, i am enjoying the debate. let me first assure you that i’m not anti-us. had it been so – i couldn’t have used my energy, time, and monetary resources to prepare for gre. right?

          now, i find your views highly polarised ( your say : us education is heaven / god and indian education is hell / evil ), and this is where i firmly disagree – my standpoint is balanced ( my say : both education systems have merits / strengths and demerits / weaknesses ).

          i also believe one should give indian education the respect it deserves . let me illustrate this point with the example of nano. sceptics never got tired…pollution…ratan uncle’s glorified golf-cart…blah blah blah. but they never realized and respected the fact that it saved thousands of families and kids from get killed in road accidents ( four wheels are any day better than two, simple law of high school mechanics, inertia / stability ).

          you are disrespecting the fact that our state schools have improved the economic condition of poor souls from villages, and the private ones have given an opportunity to the middle class to make their distant dreams a reality ( lcd tv, car, ac, washing machine, etc ). here lies the strength of desi education, it’s damn good in its own perimeter.

          don’t forget that if the base is faulty the buliding is bound to collapse. if our education systems is really that bad then how come our students get regularly featured in honor roles?

          j c bose, c v raman, s n bose ( bose einstein condensate ) – all were products of our native system. narayana murthy’s son chose iit over cornell / mit. he’s born with a golden spoon and he could’ve chosen the other way around. why did he bother to prepare for jee at the very first place instead of sat?

          i hope you enjoyed the intellectual debate.

        2. @ Rushika: “Although I’m going to US this fall, I don’t need to attend the classes to know how much of a shithole this useless Indian education system is….And before anyone shouts out I’m not patriotic, I watched online lectures of professors from MIT and UC Berkeley and that’s what motivated me to go for MS, not the so called “greener pastures” of the West.” Your motivation sounds genuine. Hope your actions turn out just as genuine, and you return to India, armed with the privilege and benefit of a U.S. education, and try to change the ‘shit-hole’ as you have described our system to be. That will be the real test of your motives.

          1. Hi Abhay,

            Can you tell me which university you got admitted? and what GRE score…i will be applying for next year fall…also what is the total tuition fees..

          2. I’m joining DRDO. Already have an offer, don’t want to go into the specifics. I hate Indian higher education and would never suggest it for my children now that I’ve suffered through it, but not for one moment does that translate to a hatred for India.

            Jai Hind.

        3. Rushika,

          I totally agree with rajarshri..you cant compare two different education system. If you do you will have to consider every thing…like their and our economic condition and other similar factors…besides have you tried IITs for higher studies , it is tough to get in but it is tougher to sustain there. I agree that there is not much practical but if you are a serious student you dont need any one to tell you to do practical you would just do it on your own. It is the mentality of Indians student – they like to be spoon fed…until and unless some one will not say they would not do it. You can’t just blame education system. As much it is fault of education system is of students of India. And do consider not every student grows up in the same condition..

          1. When you can compare countries based on many different factors, HDI, crime rates, press freedom etc, why can’t education be one of them?
            And I don’t know if it was a rhetorical question, or not, but yes, I did look into MTech at IITs, as it would be much cheaper, but frankly, the feedback I got from my own professors (I’m in an IIT and I don’t want to name anyone or anyplace) was ‘If you’re serious about your field, make the investment in US, you won’t regret it. Write GATE for the practice, not for any serious enrollment’. This coming from an associate professor in my dept.
            I completely disagree with you when you say “serious students can do it on their own”. Never underestimate practice/infrastructure, it’s because of that attitude we are loaded with endless theory in our system. “Doing it on our own”, as you describe it, would be impossible without the equipment and funding.

  3. just 2 words to say, “Excellent Post”. Wish everyone follows.

  4. Good Post. Rather commenting on how good or bad indian education systems is, had we ever questioned to ourselves that, had we done any small bit to change the indian education system the way it is?? I am not saying or asking to give up on our career goals. All I was trying to say, atleast after we achieve our goal to certain extent, we need to come back and need to contribute to indian education system. Other wise same curse will be continued from next generation students.

  5. but us degree has no value in india – this is what i learnt from my new friend hari hara sudan ( a member of the hsb community ). his friend, a graduate from duke, was earning 40 lakhs per annum in usa – now she earns 14 thousand rupees per month in india. when i expressed my disbelief, he disclosed that employers only care for brand iit and iim.

    1. Wow, your friend’s friend is really unique : a duke grad earning 40 lakh pa coming back to india?!

      1. dear rushika and sarwesh,

        it’s what i’ve heard from hari hara sudan. please ask him directly. that duke girl is not my friend – she’s friend of hari hara sudan.

        1. rajarshi

          I was expressing surprise, I wasn’t asking you anything.

    2. Buddy why is ur friend working in India when she was earning 40lakhs?

  6. great post..expecting more about the grading system and study aspect in US

  7. Well I would just like to portray the reality that I have faced during my education:

    Students from my batch and also my seniors as well as juniors, all are talk about placement activities. Well no problem with that. But when asked which company they want to work for, everyone answer the same thing – “the one which gives the best package.” This is for what we are motivated by our teachers – “If u dont study, no company will hire you. Study hard and get the best package.” When asked what job profile they want to work for, the answer was simple – “any, it doesnt matter till i am employed and get a good salary.” Yes, I was also one of these guys earlier. After deciding to go for MS and reading blogs, my point of view changed completely. I now want to achieve excellence in my field of interest. Though salary is an issue, but currently its the knowledge that can help you get a job that satisfies you.

    1. Naveen,

      I never experienced US education. But what ever you said about education and mind set about having professional & personal goal setting. Very little number of students have passion and on top of the support from institutions and family. The rest all just take what ever comes on some way.

      The same with work life too in India. Very few will have their own passion and stick to their specialisation as per their interest/passion. The rest all just go with the wind. So no specialization and in fact no value for the core specialised people in the environment also.

  8. All is well in the land of the yanks….But can anybody comment on the education system and opportunities for us Indians in Germany?
    an for C.S. postgrad in particular?

  9. Well!
    This is a very well written post,indeed, but the way the partial fact about Indian education is simply pathetic. I say it is a fact that is just partially true, ‘cos we can evidently see that Indians are yet on par with the most brainy people all over the world, and it cannot be bluntly said that Indian education is just as what you have said. The fact is that the initial pay in India is meagre relatively. This drives most of the students to do masters in USA and return to India turning filthy rich and infact they start setting up business which are quiet sophistcated in nature. Remember that every student who reaches other countries for education is equally strong in all aspects as students of that country. It is only when you match their intellectual and they are produced by India only. We have to apreiciate the fact that India produces intellects of all kinds inspite of the set backs of the huge population and resources that are available that match or may not may not match the present day s enario.

    Yet, quiet an infotmation about the USA education you have expressed. That is appreciable.

    Ignore spelling mistakes, if any.

  10. very good post …. EXCELLENCE is a metter to get your self higher and higher ….
    do whatever you want to do & after deciding go with your GOAL …

    This is only the MANTRA of SUCCESS …

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