I consider a trip to any American public school the same as a trip to the United Nations. When you walk into an American public school, you don't see a bunch of fresh faced, English speaking "white" or "black" kids. You see the South American kids, the kids from Asia, the European kids, etc. We are so much more a melting pot now days than when our Ancestors arrived. I agree with lottalatte, the actual "American educational experience" really depends on your geographical setting. I would say that I had and exceptional education. We had access to all the supplies we needed, including computers, new text books, sports equiptment, etc. Despite that though, I made a choice not to go to college and still have a high paying job and a nice life. I do not regret not going to college at all.
No. Even with a degree most things require a lot more, like commitment, dedication, and passion.
I think that the value of any education depends highly on what one does with it. Apparently an American education is considered valuable by many foreigners that pay to send their children to the U.S. to study. As for opening up a person to the "wide world of America", I can't think of a more important "world" to be opened up too. America is the world's only superpower and dominates the globe economically, militarily, culturally and linguistically. Naturally the education system of any country focuses primarily on itself. Why would kids in Norway, for example, spend all their time studying about China? Why is it surprising that the U.S. system does the same?