Choosing the right university can be a challenge for any student, but if you add an international dimension to your search it can make the choice even more difficult. To help you choose the right university, here are our 10 top tips for making the right decision first time.
1. Start with the course. If you get the right course, everything will follow, so decide on what you want to study before you do anything else. That may already narrow down your options.
2. What grades do you need? There’s a huge difference between universities in their academic requirements. If you’re a straight A student it may not be an issue, but otherwise do check carefully.
3. How long do you want to study for? Different universities can offer different lengths of course even for exactly the same subject, so make sure you check how long the course lasts.
4. What language do you want to study in? If it’s not your native tongue, are you prepared to put some work in to get up to the standard required for studying a course?
5. What kind of teaching do you prefer? Again, you’ll find a massive difference between institutions so do your homework. Do you like to learn independently, or do you prefer a lot of input and direction from your tutors?
6. Check out the finances. What sort of funding is available at the various institutions you’re interested in? Are there grants or scholarships? What is the provision for international students? It could make all the difference.
7. City slicker or country mouse? Ask yourself what kind of environment you would enjoy. Would you find a big city exciting or daunting? Would you get bored in a small town and long for the bright lights? Check out our city guides to get an idea of what each of our cities is like.
8. What do other students say? Even if you can’t get to an open day, there are annual rankings which reflect student satisfaction in their university and its location.
9. What are your hobbies? Are you very involved in a particular sport or activity? Not every university offers the same facilities and opportunities, so if there’s something important to you, whether it’s choral singing or football, make sure your chosen university caters for it.
10. Check out the reputation. You may love a particular university but then find that prospective employers don’t rate it highly. Find out what your university’s record is in employment terms and what its academic reputation is.