Translation:Dima studies a lot because he wants to get into university.
That comma is correct and is actually extremely necessary in writing to seperate clauses (because of the case system in russian the commas in writing are a lot more strict.) BUT the voice is kind of...off, in conversation the comma is not pronounced, so like everyone else said it usually sounds like one word.
"Into college" is what we would generally say in the U.S., and while I understand that "into university" is standard British usage, this is not used in the U.S. If we speak of university in this context we always use an indefinite pronoun, as in, "he wants to get into a university."
While this is true, college and university are two different things in Russia. It's kind of like the difference between community college and a four year school or a vocational school and a college or university. We use college and university interchangeably but they definitely don't. You also can't use "school" as a general term for all of them. Schools are for children not adults. Gymnasium is also another one that's confusing. The school system there is totally different. It can be kind of confusing to find the right terms that make sense to both parties in a conversation.
Yes. My comment referred to the translation into American English. To get 'into university' sounds stilted (British) to an American and has the marked connotation of graduate rather than undergraduate studies. While what you detail above is certainly true, not accepting "he wants to get into college" as a translation into English exhibits confusion on the Russian, and not the English-speaking side of the equation. :)
Duolingo is supposedly American English, but it seems that continental European English is favored on this site. For example, faculty refers to the teaching staff at a university in the US, but interestingly this false friend has crept into the vocabulary of many Europeans. To me, it is like an emerging international dialect of English. Anyways, I would stick to the rule of thumb that university is 4-years and college is 2-years.
What rule of thumb? Can you cite where that is the rule of thumb somewhere? Everyone who is a native of the U.S. talks about getting into or going to college, whether they mean a 2 or a 4-year college. University, as noted above, in the U.S. only refers to a college that also has graduate (post-BA or BS or AB) program. Name me a U.S. university with no graduate program. Just sayin'.
In the US, at least, two year colleges do award degrees. It's called an Associate's degree. It is true that a junior college does prepare one fie for a transfer to a four year college. It is often used to save money for the first two years of college and not be saddled with as much debt that a student typically builds up to finance their education. And not all four year schools call themselves a university. I know of many that just call itself a college.
I am not a native Russian speaker. But Russian is my fourth foreign language, so I have some kind of experience. Perhaps it might help you. People in different languages have a different mental structure. In this case for example they see in the action of "поступить" a movement, because somehow they consider the action like to move from outside into the university. In my opinion it is that why acussative is applied here. These things simply have to be learned by heart. The same happens from language to language with dative and accusative, refering to direct object or indirect object. It is simply thought in a different way in different languages. For example in English, Russian and German the verb "love" needs accusative - direct object. In Spanish it is dative - literally "I love to you". (te amo a ti.) Different thinking! To love is there something you do FOR somebody an action directed to somebody. So it is indirect object. And so on. I hope it helps.
Yes. university is one of those words like school, home, work, hospital, etc that drop the article after certain prepositions. Often this usage has a special meaning, e.g. "get into university" means be accepted to study there, not just to be inside the building, and "at home" means that you are experiencing domestic life, not just that your current location is the place where you live.