Being the 3rd largest state in the country in terms of population (19,378,102 people as of 2010), New York has more than 7,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools, 263 public and private colleges and universities, almost 7,000 libraries including the New York State Library, 750 museums, and 240,000 certified public school teachers, counselors, and administrators.
The University of the State of New York is the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the country and the New York City Department of Education, the city’s public school system, is the biggest worldwide.
About 2.8 million students are educated in more than 4,000 public schools in New York. In New York City alone, there are more than 1 million students enrolled in 1,600 public schools. The New York City Department of Education reported steady growth in the state’s graduation rates in high school with 73.4% of students who entered 9th grade in 2006 having graduated by June 2010.
Some of the best public and private schools in the country are in New York. City Honors School, popularly known as City Honors, at Fosdick-Masten Park, Buffalo ranked 10th in Newsweek’s America’s Best High Schools in 2010. City Honors is part of the Buffalo Public Schools system and attracts academically-gifted and talented high school students with its accelerated curriculum covering Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. For private schools, Trinity School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City tops Forbes.com’s list of the top prep schools in the US in 2010. The school boasts of first-rate facilities and a student-teacher ratio of 6:1. 82% of their faculty hold advanced degrees and 41% of their students are admitted into MIT, Standford, and other ivy league universities.
Of the 263 colleges and universities in New York, 83 are public, 145 are independent and 35 are proprietary degree-granting institutions, in addition to 246 non-degree proprietary institutions. The Office of Higher Education coordinates New York’s Higher Education system.
The City University of New York (CUNY) is the public university system of New York City. It has 25 colleges and schools including online and multi-location schools. CUNY is composed of 6,700 fulltime faculty members and a diverse student population with roots originating from 205 countries. Its graduates include 12 Nobel Laureates in the fields of economics, physics, chemistry, and medicine. CUNY is also the alma mater of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Senator Barbara Boxer, and actor Jerry Seinfield.
Many other colleges and universities in New York are distinguished worldwide, such as Columbia University (renowned for its engineering, law, architecture and medical programs), Cornell University (known for its engineering and veterinary medicine programs), New York University ( ranked #34 on US News and World Report‘s list of America’s Best Colleges), University of Rochester,(noted for its strong research program) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (distinguished in its study of robotics).
New York is also where The Juilliard School, the internationally-acclaimed conservatory of performing arts, is located.
For most tourists, asking directions and making short conversations with the New Yorkers will not be a problem because the city is basically made up of English-speaking people. However, those who are not fluent in the language will see this as a bit of a hindrance to fully enjoy exploring the Big Apple. Thus it is suggested for tourists, particularly those coming from non-English speaking countries, to first be familiar with the language, or better yet learn English in New York.
Learning English in New York would not be hard as there are many schools and companies that provide English language lessons. Most of these schools offer various courses and packages to suit your requirements and needs in learning the language.
Choosing which package to enroll in would be depending on several factors. First would be the length of time you will be in the city. If you are just in the city for the weekend, then there is really no need for you to get formal English lessons. Instead, just get yourself familiar with some basic terms and phrases, such as greetings, directions, and questions.
Your English level should also help assess what type of lessons to enroll in. Beginners, or those who are really not familiar with the language, would probably need extensive lessons, while those who just lack fluency with the language may just need minimal lessons.
It is important to note though for those who are really interested in learning English in New York that fees for English lessons in the city do not come cheap. That is why if you are in a budget, you might just have to consider doing English lessons with a friend or somebody who knows the language. It would also help to get yourself an English dictionary to help you get acquainted with the language.