What to Consider When Selecting Your Institution of Higher Education:
When choosing your study abroad university, in which you will study for the next 2 to 4 years, there are many factors that have to be taken into account. Apart from the university ranking (an element who’s importance is often times overrated), it is paramount to ensure that the university will actually meet your individual needs and requirements. Given the enormous number of universities out there, the selection process can appear quite overwhelming. You might end up feeling like you are unable to see the forest for the trees. However, when you prioritize certain factors which you personally consider most important (your figurative ax or chainsaw, so to speak), things will clear up very soon and you are on the right path to find the university of your dreams.
Find out which University is Specialized in Your Field of Study and Research Area
Many universities appear attractive simply because they carry a name that is commonly associated with excellence and prestige. However, most renowned universities are certainly not the best in all academic disciplines. So before being drawn to one of the more popular universities merely because of their reputation, it is essential to identify each university’s specialties. This will help you to ensure that the education that you are going to receive abroad is truly what you are hoping for.
Inform Yourself About the Local Conditions
Remember to bear in mind other factors aside from the university itself. We are often too focused on finding the perfect institution, and consequently forget about other small details that will however ultimately make a big difference. As an international student, you are about to enter an environment that can be completely different from what you are used to back home. Therefore, consider aspects such as climate (for those of you who are constantly freezing, you might want to study in a country with a warm and toasty climate), cuisine and local customs. Of course it is exciting to hurl oneself into the adventure of exploring a new culture. Yet, keep in mind that you will be spending many years living and studying in the country you select. Therefore, get familiar with the local conditions before starting your journey, to make sure that you have picked the most suitable location for your undertaking.
The Financial Factor
While we strongly disagree with sayings like “money is everything”, it is nevertheless important to know how much money you will have to spend out of your own pocket to study at your dream university. Even if the university is the very best in your area of interest, still consider whether or not you deem studying there worth it taking out a loan, for example. This is particularly true for countries such as the United States, in which many students end up in debt for a quite considerable amount of time after their graduation. To counter this, you could look out for universities in countries with lower tuition fees. Alternatively, you can also always search for scholarship opportunities at the university or even governmental websites.
Conduct Research on the Infrastructure Offered by the Different Universities
Before making your final decision, find out what the university has to offer in terms of elements such as housing services, health care, libraries, and sport centers. This represents vital information, particularly for students who are studying in a foreign country, since your university will most likely be your main and first point of contact for those matters.
Obtain Help and Support From a Study Abroad Agent
Many agencies offer assistance to students who are interested in studying abroad, and the good news is that this invaluable service is often times completely free!! Agents are experts in their field and can give you advice on multiple different tasks and tricky questions. They; for instance, can help you determine the right study abroad destination and university for your individual goals. They may also assist you with your visa application, the admission process, and provide a pre-departure briefing. Therefore, in case you feel uncertain about which university to choose (or if you are having questions in regards to any of the just mentioned items), do not hesitate to contact one of our carefully selected agents who will guide you through every step of the process.