In Sri Lanka the word "college" (known as Vidyalaya in Sinhala) normally refers to a secondary school, which usually signifies above the 5th standard. During the British colonial period a limited number of exclusive secondary schools were established based on English public school model (Royal College Colombo, S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Trinity College, Kandy) these along with several Catholic schools (St. Joseph's College, Colombo, St Anthony's College) traditionally carry their name as colleges. Following the start of free education in 1931 large group of central colleges were established to educate the rural masses. Since Sri Lanka gained Independence in 1948, many schools that have been established have been named as "college".
In higher education, a college is normally a provider that does not hold university status, although it can also refer to a constituent part of a collegiate or federal university or a grouping of academic faculties or departments within a university. Traditionally the distinction between colleges and universities was that colleges did not award degrees while universities did, but this is no longer the case with NCG having gained taught degree awarding powers (the same as some universities) on behalf of its colleges, and many of the colleges of the University of London holding full degree awarding powers and being effectively universities. Most colleges, however, do not hold their own degree awarding powers and continue to offer higher education courses that are validated by universities or other institutions that can award degrees.
Referring to parts of a university, there are residential colleges which provide residence for students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, called university colleges. These colleges often provide additional tutorial assistance, and some host theological study. Many colleges have strong traditions and rituals, so are a combination of dormitory style accommodation and fraternity or sorority culture.
People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.
What has been incredibly helpful to me is setting aside ‘school time’. This has been essentially my savings grace. I treat my online classes as if they are a traditional classroom setting. Three times a week I ‘go to school’. I literally block off a two hour window to complete homework, participate in online discussions with my classmates, and also study. I don’t allow myself to be ‘late’ to school or to reschedule class time in light of social events, activities, or anything else that could easily become a diversion.
Presently in Portugal, the term colégio (college) is normally used as a generic reference to a private (non-government) school that provides from basic to secondary education. Many of the private schools include the term colégio in their name. Some special public schools – usually of the boarding school type – also include the term in their name, with a notable example being the Colégio Militar (Military College). The term colégio interno (literally "internal college") is used specifically as a generic reference to a boarding school.