- Things you should know about choosing a university
- 3 ways to help you choose the right university
- What you should consider
- How to choose the best university
- How to prepare for university
With universities worldwide offering thousands of courses, finding the right university can be tricky. However difficult the process might be, it’s your responsibility to assess your options and do your best to select the right university. 💪
This article will explore different ways that you can approach how to choose the right university.
What you should know about choosing a university
Here are some tips that can help you to avoid stress and improve your chances of making the right decision about your future.
- It’s important to start the process early
When applying to different universities, there are many things that you will have to consider. As there will be a lot of new information, it’s essential to get a head start and start deciding on universities as soon as possible.
Starting the process early will give you more time to figure out your interests and explore different career paths.
However, if you are not yet ready to start pinning things down just yet, it’s vital not to force yourself. In such a case, we recommend gently starting a conversation with your parents and teachers so that they can support you to get ready. 🥰
- Think about what you want to do
When thinking about university, it’s vital to remember that it’s your decision first and foremost. You are going to spend the next 3-4 years of your life at university, and possibly, your long-term future in your chosen field.
Thus, while it's worthwhile to speak to your parents and teachers for guidance, it’s important not to let them overpower your own wishes in the process. Take a step back, listen to what they have to say, and be prepared to stand by your own decisions.
3 ways to help you choose the right university
Before we talk about different ways you can approach choosing the right university, here are some questions that you should consider:
- Is there any specific subject that you enjoyed in school?
- Is there any subject that you have always been naturally good at?
- What are your hobbies?
- Do you have any particular field that you want to pursue a career in?
Once you’ve done your research about your own wants, needs, and interests, it’s time to find the right university!
Here are some ways you can do that:
1. Choose the right qualification and subject area
Most universities offer many courses and subjects that students can choose from. While the different options should be beneficial for you, they can create confusion in your mind as you feel unable to make a decision. 😕
Thus, it's important to first make a shortlist of courses and then come back and check if the subjects you’ve chosen align with your personality and career aspirations.
Most people opt for a Bachelor's degree in their undergraduate higher education years. There are many different types of undergraduate degree, including the following:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Bachelor of Education (BEd)
- Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
There are also foundational degrees or Diplomas (HNDs).
Once you have determined which qualification and subject to pursue, it’s vital to check whether universities accept high school scores or if they need scores of special entrance examinations such as IELTS.
2. Research career outcomes
One of the most important things to consider while choosing a university is researching how it can prepare you for the future. Irrespective of whether you will be continuing education by doing a postgraduate degree or plan to start working right after completing your undergraduate course, learning about how your current degree will help in your career is vital.
Thus, it would be best to consider what career opportunities lie beyond your degree. You can do so by researching what types of jobs previous graduates of the degree move into. This will help you decide whether the course you’re choosing will put you onto a path that leads to a career of your choice. 👨💼
3. Be honest about finances
When it comes to university education, it is important to consider finances as college tuition is expensive. Thus, it’s essential to think about your finances before choosing a university.
For instance, if you want to get admitted to Oxford University but the expenses are a little intimidating, it might be worth considering starting earning while still in school or to start doing extracurricular activities that will enable you to receive a scholarship. You can also think about financial aid and student loan programs that can help you to go to the university of your choice.
If your family will be contributing money to your education, it’s vital to discuss finances openly and set expectations. This will allow you to find the right university that fits the family’s budget.
What should you consider when choosing a university?
When choosing a university, you must focus on finding the right fit. To determine if a college is right for you, consider the following factors:
Academic programs offered
it's essential to choose a university that offers your favourite subject. This is by far the most important factor because it is likely to influence your future studies and your chosen career.
The surveys about university ranks are comprehensive and take many factors into consideration. Consulting such surveys can give you a better idea of the university's brand image and what you can expect during your time there.
You should learn more about the country and city where the university is located. This will help you to know more about the culture at the university.
Campus culture plays a vital role in enhancing students' understanding of different cultures and traditions. Moreover, it prepares students to work well in a diverse environment. Thus, it's essential to look for a university that has an inclusive and vibrant campus culture.
Accommodation and food
Ensure that the university or the personal accommodation where you will be staying offers healthy food and safe living conditions.
It's essential to check whether the university fees and living expenses fall within your budget. If the tuition fee is not in the budget, apply for financial aid or scholarships or consider other universities.
It is important to study what you want. But at the same time, it’s vital to ensure that the university has a proven track record of offering good career opportunities in that chosen field so you will succeed after graduating.
Academics are not everything, and it's essential to have a well-balanced lifestyle. Extracurricular activities can help you to stay active and healthy. Thus, it's vital that your university offers various extracurricular activities and promotes active participation. 🚴♀️
How do I choose the best university?
To choose the best university, we recommend creating a pro and con list analysing each shortlisted university. Using this approach, you can make a more informed and objective decision based on all the critical factors that would make a university the right fit for you.
How do I choose a degree and subject?
Picking a degree and subject can be quite complicated, its tough to pin down your passions and make such an important decision. So here are some ways you can approach it:
- Consider subjects that might help you land a job in a field with good growth potential in the future.
- Go to a careers guidance counsellor or adviser. A session with a professional will help you gain more clarity about what you like and the career you want to pursue.
- Consider doing internships to explore different fields before making the final decision.
How do I prepare for university?
To ensure you are well prepared to go to university, you can do the following things:
- Visit the campus before starting so you know what to expect. 🏡
- Prepare a monthly budget for yourself. 📝
- Practice useful life skills like cooking, laundry, and cleaning.
- Stock up on necessities for the first few months.
- Get your support network set up. Remember that you’re parents and friends are just a text or phone call away.
Choosing a university is not an easy decision to make. It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself and to seek the support and guidance you require at every stage of the process. Most importantly, you must take progressive steps towards making a final decision and choosing the right university as soon as you feel ready.