QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK BEFORE SHORTLISTING YOUR UNIVERSITY
One of the most overlooked factors about study abroad is the university itself. Bedazzled by the very idea of going abroad, students fail to evaluate the universities according to proper benchmarks. Each university offers its own avenue of study and college life. Deciding whether a particular avenue is a good fit for you or not is a critical job. There is added pressure of filling out time consuming applications and writing multiple tedious essays. A beforehand survey of your needs and plans matched along with the university resources can go a long way in simplifying the process.
Read on below to learn how to shortlist the perfect universities for you.
We all have dream colleges which seem perfect for us. The Ivy League universities in USA or the League of 8 colleges in Australia may seem perfect on the onset. But a student must make his decision based on reality and not on the hype surrounding the college.
To make it easier, it is always recommended that we should apply to 9 universities. They can be divided into 3 categories:
- Reach/Dream – These are the universities you have a low chance of getting into based on your current academic and scholastic records.
- Target – These schools are within your grasp. They are perfect fits for you.
- Safety – These are the colleges that you apply to on the lower end of the spectrum. You have an almost guaranteed shot at making it into these colleges.
Keep in mind that mindlessly chasing dream colleges can hurt you a lot in the long run. Follow a perfect plan to keep mishaps to the minimum.
RANKINGS OF THE UNIVERSITIES
The ranking lists published each year by major companies have an unprecedented impact on the college’s profile and worth. QS Rankings and Times Higher Education are two of the most trusted players in this field. But how far can these rankings be believed? How authentic are they? What parameters do they take into account?
The weightage that each list awards to the parameters varies, thereby explaining the fluctuation in rankings of the same college. It is up to you to decide which parameters are important for you and choose your rankings accordingly.
Many factors are overlooked by these rankings, most of which play a role in your decision. Many students seek close knit communities in rural settings. But no ranking displays this information.
Similarly, focus on the course wise distribution instead of overall rankings. A well ranked college might be poorly marked in the course you want. Beware!
LIST OUT YOUR OWN NEEDS
What are your expectations from your college life? Make a list of questions relevant to you and seek out the answers.
Start with your course first. Does the college offer the course you wish to pursue? What subjects does the program entail? How many lab hours? Research the faculty. A good college will have highly qualified and renowned faculty. What about the infrastructure? Is it at par with your expectations? Check out the research facilities and funding history.
Next, comes the environment you want to study in. Do you prefer the countryside or a cityscape? A closed campus with a well knit community or an open campus with colleges spread out across a city? A small setting with 3000 students or a large, populated college? There are questions about the weather, proximity of tourist places, social life, night life, nature parks etc.
It is best to be thorough right now than to regret your decision later.
Many students who wish to study abroad don’t necessarily come from affluent backgrounds. They are dependent on need based financial aid or merit based scholarships. At times, the financial factor severely limits the scope of your search. Few top universities offer aid and scholarships to international students. But if you choose wisely and manage your academics well, it might just be within your reach.
Several countries in Europe offer free education to foreign students. The best you can do is seek out a study abroad expert and get their advice. Don’t try to navigate through these issues alone lest you get overwhelmed.
A foreign degree is an exercise in futility if it doesn’t help advance your career. Choose a university whose mission and agenda are in line with your long term goals. Research the placement cell of the college and dig up the recent history. Have the students gotten opportunistic internships and well – paying jobs? Do they conduct on campus placements along with off campus support? Do they hold career fairs and seminars? Do they offer support with your resumes and interviews?
Don’t forget to learn more about the location of the university. If you are looking for a career in the software industry, it will be beneficial for you to study near the main IT hub of the country. Similarly for fashion, a college in Paris or New York will help you get your career off in the right direction.
As difficult as it sounds, with a little help you can fulfil your dream of studying abroad. Seek out the best foreign education consultants in your city now!