Some students know which school they want to go to and others know they want to study in this particular country but have no idea about the schools there. Some choose an educational country destination because of certain reasons. It could be because it’s cheaper or they have family members over there or because of proximity to their home country or because of work opportunities or immigration opportunities. Regardless of the reason, you need to choose your university or college that best suits your needs, skills, and personal circumstances.
You can check universities or colleges by searching their rankings. If you are awarded a scholarship, the Ministry of Higher Education in your country will give you a list of approved schools worldwide to choose from. Or simply, you can get recommendations from family members, or friends, or education advisers on the schools.
Some tips to help you choose your university or college are listed below:
- If you can personally afford it or you are on scholarship from you government, choose the top rated schools worldwide or in the region or in the country provided you fulfill all their requirements. Having said that, you should not ignore the points I also mentioned below.
- If you are an excellent student, a straight A student, and an achiever with lots of extracurricular activities and volunteerism records, you can always ask for scholarship from the university but you need to research which university offers scholarships first and you also need to fulfill all their academic requirements.
- Ensure the university offers the course you want to study including the course contents. Don’t get excited if you found your major in a particular university but then you discover that they don’t teach what you want to learn.
- It is very important to search the university’s or college’s location in terms of safety, proximity to your accommodation, transportation, your community, worship places (if important to you), groceries &/or restaurants, and any other things that are important to you. Yes you are there to study but you also need to unwind, don’t forget that.
- Does the university offer facilities and support that you will definitely need like international students support department, IT facilities, libraries, dormitories, sports…etc.? I would also recommend to check campus life, activities, and percentage of international students (like you) in that university and possibly with nationality mix. It is human nature that people are drawn to places where they can find people from their own community there.
- If English is not your first language and you need to improve your English first, does the university or college offer English training for academic purposes? Do they also offer pathways or bridging programs that will help you prepare for your post secondary education?
- If internship or co-op matters to you during or after graduation, search universities or colleges that offer placement opportunities so that you get work experience immediately when you graduate.
- One major factor in choosing a university or college is budget. Can you afford the tuition and your personal expenses and other unexpected expenses? Does your study permit/visa allow you to work part time while studying? Do you want to work while studying abroad? Can you do it? Can you handle it physically, mentally, and emotionally while studying? You really need to think about that and don’t be in denial.
If you have any feedback or comment, I would love to hear from you.