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False Friend: Colegio vs. College

A hallway at a colegio (high school) in San José, Costa Rica.
(Picture by Ryan Sitzman)
Hello! It’s been a long time since we had a False Friend, so let’s look at another one today. If you’re not sure what a False Friend is, check out this post. Today we’ll look at the difference between colegio in Spanish and college in English. 

False Friend: colegio vs. college 
This SPANISH word…
Looks like this ENGLISH word…
…but they are DIFFERENT because…
colegio
college
In Spanish, a colegio is like a high school in English:

Ella va a un colegio bilingüe.”
(“She goes to a bilingual high school.”)

In English, college is basically the same thing as a university (apparently there’s a difference in Britain and Canada, but in my experience in the US, the two were  essentially the same):

Most people in Costa Rica graduate from high school when they’re between the ages of 17 and 19. After graduation, some of them go to college, and others get jobs right away.

So, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between these two words, right? Just remember, college=university. For our next False Friend I think we’ll talk about the differences between a bachelor, a Bachelor’s degree, and a bachillerato in Spanish. 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for other False Friends or Common Errors, please tell me.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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