Oh, differences in the educational systems is a complex topic!
In Russia and Belarus, there's a concept of 'specialised middle education' (сре́днее специа́льное образова́ние). In such educational institutions, you get and education that allows you to work, but it's less cool that 'higher education' (вы́сшее образова́ние).
You get a 'specialised middle education' in ко́лледж, те́хникум or ПТУ (pronounced пэтэу́; short for профессиона́льно-техни́ческое учи́лище). Ко́лледж is better than те́хникум, те́хникум is better than ПТУ. But all of them are a worse than institutions giving 'higher education': университе́т or институ́т.
Another difference is that you can go to ко́лледж, те́хникум or ПТУ after 9 years in school and after 11 years (the latter is uncommon, though), but you can only go to институ́т or университе́т only after 11 years in school.
The 'specialised middle education' is getting less and less popular around here. The common sentiment is that having a 'higher education' is neccessary for almost every job. It's not true, of course, but many people get the university degree and then go to work on jobs that don't in the least require it.
This is how it is in Russia and Belarus. However, when speaking about Western countries, we use the word «ко́лледж» as a translation for 'college', even though it's a very different notion there.
Actually, going to колледж is growing more popular. You can even go there for free after you graduate from your university, which I did. Not the best of experiences, though—all these kids half again as young as I am, and stuff... Teachers also seemed to be more used to talking with teens and late teens.
Hi buddies, by the way.. can one say близко от метро? On the contrary case, this ¨ К ¨ requires Dative?