Visa Crunch

Student speaks – Knowing your options when choosing a university

One of the prime decisions of the study-abroad process to make is choosing a university to study at. It is imperative to choose wisely, whether you are an undergraduate, masters or PhD student. However, many students do not know where to start the search for their preferred university. Here are a few tips-

  • Rankings are not everything. This cannot be repeated enough times to emphasize its importance. While rankings surely provide a good indication of a university’s competitiveness and a few other indicators, it is more important to identify how your university does in the aspects that you care about the most. Therefore, the city where you will be studying, the educational opportunities, internship opportunities, quality of faculty, graduate employability, are a lot of other factors that will make your entire study-abroad experience well-rounded and wholesome. Well-rounded guides are available online, such as The Uni Guide UK or IDP’s University Guide . These guides take into account a host of factors such as entry standards, graduate prospects, and facilities spend.
  • Cost. Before ensuing any research, it is important to recognize your sources of funding, and accordingly draw up a rough budget. While tuition fees will be explicitly listed on most university pages, as a general rule, universities charge higher fees for international students. Moreover, private universities also tend to be more expensive than public universities in the USA. And lastly, STEM courses and a few other courses tend to be priced higher. Depending on the tuition fees you can afford, you should choose an appropriate university. Furthermore, apart from the tuition fees, the cost of living tends to be higher in cities, than in suburbs or small towns in the countryside. Therefore, it is advisable to survey additional costs of living. Again, a good place to get estimates of costs are the above-mentioned guides.
  • Country. The country you want to study in is again a very subjective choice. While the USA, UK and Canada are quite popular among students, that does not mean that you too have to follow the trend. Countries like Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and many other such countries have universities that rank very highly in international rankings, and at the same time are well known for certain specialised degree programmes, such as hospitality in Switzerland. Your choice of the country will also depend on your future goals, and again, your budget.

Lastly, it is important that you critically analyse where you will find it suitable to study. Therefore, talking to alumni, or current students studying in a particular country where you might be interested in studying can help you gauge how well you will fit into the local culture and community.

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