Deciding to go into further education, no matter your age is a big commitment. University can take between three to seven years to complete and will be a hugely formative experience no matter where you study. Ultimately, you choose to go into further education to better yourself; this might be to improve your financial situation, to gain confidence, or simply to learn something new.
Choosing the university that will suit you the most is hugely important. After all, you will be spending years of your life on that campus, in that city, and with the people you meet there. Let’s take a look at some criteria for choosing the best university for you.
Research the quality of teaching in your department.
Although some universities are ranked more highly in general than others, it is important to consider each department as its own entity. A particular university might have an especially well-qualified medical department, with great facilities that are perfect for students of medicine. The same university might not be so well renowned for the arts, however. You need to look not just at the university’s overall ranking, but its ranking for your specific degree subject.
By doing so, you are ensuring that the university you are applying to has good teaching and excellent facilities for your particular college degree, thereby giving yourself the best chance of having a positive and enriching university experience.
Explore the university’s city widely
Not only should you look carefully within the college walls, but you should also be exploring the city more widely. The college might be all you’ve ever wanted, but you might find that the city it is situated in simply isn’t for you. Outside of study hours, you will be living and working as a citizen of that city – it is of paramount importance that you have a positive relationship with that city.
Especially if you are an international student, taking out expensive international student loans and hauling yourself to a new country for your studies, you need to make sure you enjoy spending time in the city you’ll call home. It’s not enough to love the college; you need to love the place, too.
Make a financial plan – can you afford this university?
Not all universities have the same fees, and not all fee packages have the same payment plans. When researching universities to apply to, you should always check up on the status of fees, as well as the payment options available to you.
Financial planning is one of the key stages of preparing for further education, and it shouldn’t be underestimated just how much of a difference your financial situation will make to your college experience. You don’t want to spend all of college stressed out and upset that you might not be able to afford it.
If you are in the process of choosing a university to attend, this guide can help you narrow down your choices using three criteria: financial planning, the wider city, and the department’s reputation.