Deciding on your study location and how to choose a college or university is the biggest obstacle standing between you and your ideal study abroad program.
Studying abroad requires proper research and careful scrutiny across the university options available to you. A whole world of choices, with literally thousands of universities and each offering dozens – if not hundreds – of different courses, makes it even more rigorous to figure out what or where you want to study.
To help you get started on a good note, I have put up a video, describing the 10 important considerations you should bear in mind before applying to a college or university abroad.
In my video, you will learn how to choose a university abroad and what is obtainable across these institutions in general. Whether you want to study in US, UK, Canada, or any country of your choice- the study abroad considerations I’ve pointed out in this video will benefit you.
Before we get into the specifics, here are the general points to bear in mind throughout:
- Your area of Interest/proposed Career Path
- Your Financial Position
- Available Funding Opportunities
- Your Migration Plan and Location of Institution
- Whether Condition
- School’s Eligibility Requirements
How to Choose a University Abroad- Best YouTube Video
Below are the top 10 criteria for choosing a university abroad.
#1. Consider your area of Interest/career path
Before you apply to go overseas for studies, you should consider your career path. Prospective international students usually look up to the diverse ranking metrics, created by several organizations to come up with their top university lists. While that is good, it might be misleading as well.
You may be tempted to select a school based on the global university rankings but that is not the way to go. You have to consider rankings across various disciplines and program options. For instance, the best law university in the UK might not be the best in medicine or engineering.
So, when you identify your career path and find a Course that aligns with it, select a university abroad that is known to be good in that Course.
#2. Consider your financial position
There are many financial factors you should consider when applying to a university abroad.
Tuition fee is only one financial factor to consider; there are other financial costs like coursework, field trips, housing and transportation, food, health insurance, and other expenses.
Tuition and fees vary greatly between schools. Public colleges in the UK are typically much less expensive than private colleges. Russell Group Universities are also more expensive than others. The Tuition fee for international students is usually about twice the amount paid by national students.
It is important to determine how much tuition you are willing and able to pay, create a cost comparison chart of the schools you are considering, and determine which one is the best fit for you considering your financial situation.
#3. Consider Funding Opportunities
There are many ways to study at an institution abroad. It can be through scholarships, student loans, or private funding. There are various scholarships available for various programs and Universities and they range from fully funded to partially funded including tuition fee waivers.
Fully funded scholarships take care of both the tuition fees and living expenses of the recipient and I have highlighted most of them in the Scholarship Playlist on this Channel. Partially funded scholarships including tuition waivers help to augment the financial responsibilities of the recipient, making the burden lighter.
Most schools grant self-funded international students tuition waivers/scholarships of up to 20% or more, especially those who pay their tuition deposit within the stipulated timeline. Some schools, however, are able to provide more financial aid to international students than others and you should contact your prospective school to find out what financial aid is available to you.
Study abroad scholarships for international students are limited at both public and private universities and are also very competitive, especially for top-ranked Universities. Find out if your proposed University provides need-based scholarships, what your chances are of receiving financial aid, how much you can expect, and whether or not you can find part-time jobs on campus. You should also look into any external scholarships for which you are eligible to apply.
#4. Consider the school Location
The location of the school you choose matters a lot. Places like Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom are popular dream destinations for international students, but they are also the most expensive countries to study abroad.
Investigate the cost of living in the countries and cities where the schools you’re considering are located, as this can have a significant impact on your ability to study in specific areas. Before applying, make certain that a school is a viable option for you.
Your migration plan should also influence the location you choose to study at. Are there post-study visas? Are there options to permanently reside in the Country after studies? Can you afford such options? You should select a University in a Country that will bring you closer to actualizing your migration plan.
Every country has its unique weather condition. Some countries across the world experience humid and hot weather and snow are unheard of while others are extremely cold.
Research has proven that our bodies respond differently to temperature changes. Studying in a country where the weather is unfriendly to you may affect your overall productivity.
So, when planning a relocation, you should take into consideration the climate condition of the particular country you desire to move to. If you’re unsure of how your body responds to specific temperatures, you can consult a climatologist.
#6. Do You Feel at Home on Campus?
Relocation abroad for studies comes with a new kind of adjustment. The most common problems international students face abroad are language barriers, culture shock, strain in relationships with foreigners, and blending in. I have explained in this video why you should choose a university in an environment that accommodates international students and people from different walks of life.
#7. Consult an Alumni
Before you apply to a university abroad, speak with someone who has studied or researched at the university you are considering.
Speaking with current students and graduates of the programs you’re interested in is an important part of the study abroad application process.
#8. School Requirements
Program requirements are one of the factors you should consider before choosing a university abroad. These requirements vary by school, study duration, and program type. In most cases, the length of time you spend studying abroad will depend on the program and level of degree you’re undertaking.
I have mentioned the most common study abroad requirements every prospective international student should look out for in this video.
Choosing to study at a university abroad comes with a lot of benefits. This video gives an elaborate explanation of factors you should consider before selecting a school to study abroad.