Updated: Apr 23, 2021
While the university application process is hard, deciding which school to attend is no easier. There are a lot of factors one needs to take into consideration before choosing the school which would be a perfect fit for you. Although we can’t tell you exactly which schools or countries to choose, in this article, we have outlined five questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to choosing the right school and country.
1. Why Do I Want to Study?
The first thing you should consider before choosing a school is knowing why you want to study. Are you looking to build a career? Or is it because you are feeling pressure from others? Where your passion lies would help you in answering these questions. It is only after you know why you want to study that your answers can direct you into making the right choice of school.
2. Where Is It Located?
Location is a very important determinant when choosing a school because the location of your school affects your social, academic life and your life after school. Choosing a country to study depends on what you plan to do after your programme. For example, if your plan is to immigrate from your current country, there are certain countries you should not consider applying to. In choosing the city to study, you can either opt for a large city or a more isolated community. Choosing a large city, on one hand, has its advantages as it opens you to more opportunities professionally and socially. At the same time, staying in a big city can be distracting and not to mention the most obvious, expensive.
An isolated community might push you to become more active in your school by joining societies and connect more with your lecturers. The location generally depends on the kind of person you are, knowing your strengths and weaknesses as well as your plans after studying.
3. How Much Does It Cost?
Finances are an important factor to consider when choosing a school. Unless you are lucky and receive some sort of funding, the cost is something you’d have to consider. This includes tuition and living costs altogether. Also, be sure to apply to schools or accept schools that give some sort of financial aid if the school costs will be an issue. You should make sure you think of the cost of each given school before you finally decide on your final choice.
4. What is the ranking of the Course?
The ranking of the school and the course are useful in choosing a school, but you shouldn’t be hellbent on going to an ivy league. Although ivy league schools are good on the cv, they are not the jack of all trades. There are schools that are known for certain departments. For example, the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow has the best Accounting and Finance programme in the United Kingdom even though it ranks 39th overall according to The Complete University Guide.
5. What is its Career Development and Alumni Network like?
The career potential of a university is another factor one should consider before choosing a school. You need to know if the career center is beneficial to students and the sort of benefits the career center provides. You’d also like to know if the students typically find jobs upon graduation and if the school assists with this. The presence of an alumni network also can not be overemphasized as an engaged alumni network allows the University to benefit from the skills and experience of its graduates and offer support to current students. The alumni also offer career support to current students through schemes such as work shadowing and professional mentoring programme which in turn give the students a competitive edge in today’s tough job market.
Finally, choosing the right school is not an easy task. However, by asking yourself the right set of questions, you can narrow your choices and limit the chance of choosing the wrong place which would not fit your goals. It is important not to get carried away with the big names and should instead be thinking about the best school for you.
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This article was written by Malik Alli