I'm correcting a paper about a study abroad experience, and the person wrote:
During my third year at junior high, I traveled to my home town's sister city, Cooma, Australia, as a cultural exchange student with about 20 other junior high school students.
My immediate reaction was to change the first part to "third year in junior high" but then I started to second guess my change. Doing a search for the prevalence of using in / at / of - I found "third year at junior high" is used the least, followed by "third year of" in the middle, and with "third year in" being used the most. But of and in have very similar numbers. Both sound good to me as well. And we all know the prevalence does not always correlate to the correctness.
So my question is, which one of these is the most correct usage? And WHY is it correct?
As a side note for those who might be interested: At my Japanese school, they are taught to exclusively use "at" in these situations.