5 Steps to choose the right University for you!
After finishing High School many students feel conflicted about what to do. Some of them decide to take a gap year (which can really be a great decision, if you don’t waste it) and others are determined to continue their studies at a college/university.
This is great. However, wanting to study and knowing what and where to study are two different pairs of shoes. It’s a crucial decision for one’s career and future, that should be made right the first time if you don’t want to lose time and money.
But what to choose? There are thousands of colleges/universities and subjects to choose from. This sheer explosion of opportunities is without a doubt overwhelming.
This list is supposed to help students (bachelor/master aspirants) choose the right path.
1. Pick a subject/an area
This is probably easier for students applying for their master’s degree since they have already taken that decision for their bachelor’s degree. Don’t get me wrong, you can still choose another subject if you are applying for your masters but it has to be related to your bachelor's degree.
The admissions office will then decide if you acquired enough knowledge in that field to pursue a master’s degree.
If you are fresh out of school and a little helpless when it comes to deciding on a subject you are supposed to study for the next 3 – 6 years, take a deep breath. Think about which subjects you found interesting in school. Some students tend to be fascinated by mathematical equations, where others see those as a form of torture and are more interested in chemical experiments.
This is completely up to you and you should not let anyone else make that decision for you.
As soon as you are certain which area appeals to you, you should move on to step two.
2. Where to study
Not everyone knows right away where they intend to study. For that, you may want to do some research. Check countries and cities that have the most or all the desired traits. This could be the type of study program, the facilities, the transport, living cost or even the weather.
Don’t underestimate the importance of researching the area. If you hate your surroundings, then your education will undoubtedly suffer as a result.
If you are set on a country you should narrow down the areas, keeping in mind the career opportunities after graduation, financial options like scholarship and application requirements. Not every university has the same requirements.
* Don’t let your decision be influenced by short-term factors like a menu in the cafeteria or the quality of the accommodation.
* Look at the wider campus life; check out various clubs, societies, fraternities, and sororities.
* If you are unable to visit the campus in person, try to find alumni or other students currently studying at the same university/universities and in the same field. They can give you trustworthy reviews and answer questions you may have and to which you can’t find the answer online.
3. University Rankings
Students usually want to study at the best universities. Things aren’t always as simple as that. Which universities exactly are the "best ones”?
It’s the 21st Century and the internet is full of diverse ranking systems, created by several organizations that use different metrics to come up with their top university lists. Some measure academic and educational performance, the internationality of the institution or the teaching environment.
So please, don’t just follow these rankings blindly. Make sure to free up some time to do your own research on every university you are interested in.
If you have to attend a visa interview to study abroad and they ask you why you chose this university, don’t say that the ranking was the deciding factor. Visa officers know that ranking is not everything and students tend to use this as an answer. It will not satisfy them.
4. Impact on your CV
It is no secret that applicants with Oxbridge, Harvard, and Stanford on their CV will definitely stand out in a pile of applications; this is worth keeping in mind when making your choice.
No matter which country you prefer to study in, they most probably have a designated list of ‘elite’ universities. If you have a fitting academic background, it is highly recommended to consider these kinds of institutions.
5. Cost of Study
Studying in your own country is without a doubt a lot cheaper than deciding to study abroad. That’s why you should consider every factor from tuition fees to living costs and loan repayment (if you take one to pay for your studies).
Choose a university you are comfortable with. You should not feel obligated to choose the cheapest option if finances are a deal-breaker for you. However, if you are going to be spending $50.000 a year on tuition fees (no accommodation, food, clothes, and insurance included), then you have to ask yourself if there is going to be a return on that investment. You don’t want to be saddled with enormous debts for the remainder of your working life.
In the end, it all comes down to whether you get accepted or not and if you maybe have a friend tagging along. This should never keep you from following your dreams though. I am sure it is easier for you to settle in at a foreign place if you have a friend close by BUT this should not decide your career path. Friends at university are easier made than anywhere else.
Even if some universities seem to be ambitious just give it a try!!
Students apply every year to "safe” universities, thinking they will definitely get an admit and are disappointed when it does not happen.
Who says it can’t be the other way around for ambitious universities?
In case you need help with shortlisting universities and the application process, don’t hesitate to visit or call us: +91-9177971222