So, you’ve successfully completed high school studies and are ready to join the rest of your friends in higher learning institutions. Among all stages in your school life, this is the most daunting. Like most people will advise you, you should be ready to change some areas of your day-to-day life. Even the most significant habits could be scrapped off, at least until you’ve adjusted to campus life.
Perhaps, the most stressful part of this journey is choosing the ideal university. There are several factors that you might need to consider before you begin your application. Remember that it is better to have many options at your disposal just in case one of them doesn’t fit you or has high cut-off points. Once you’ve applied, you can follow up on the university’s early decision notification dates or the normal reply date to find out your fate.
But, first, this article will make things a little easier for you by discussing some of the main factors to keep in mind as you peruse through the universities for which you qualify.
1. Where Is It Located?
It might not seem like an important factor now, but the university’s location is an essential factor to take into account. Here, there are two things you could use to decide whether or not it is the right place to live and study. First, how far is it from your home? Everyone has a preference with regard to distance from their parents. You might find one institution that’s a few kilometers away from home, while others might even require you to take a flight. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the distance before sending your application to the relevant authorities within the university.
The second point to note here is the surrounding. Not all universities are found in your country’s major cities. Some are on the outskirts of these cities, while others are located in rural areas. Nonetheless, learning is pretty much similar in all of them since they have the same goal–to nurture creative minds. So, location is all about one’s preference and has nothing to do with the quality of education.
2. The Course Content
Inasmuch as you’ll find that almost all of the universities you’ve shortlisted offer the same course, the way they do it may vary immensely. Marine engineering courses, for instance, may have some common units, but there are some unique areas that will distinguish various schools of engineering from one another. So, ask yourself as to what interests you the most in your field.
Once you have made up your mind, try and find what each university offers in their select courses. Of course, reading through the content page is not enough. You might need to contact the institution for further information on the subject. Also, feel free to ask around to gather more knowledge on the course. It will not only help you in making your decision, but you’ll also have an idea of what’s awaiting you at the university.
3. Clubs And Societies
Moving forward, you’ll realize that education is more than just pen and paper. Of course, the main purpose of joining the university is to advance your knowledge in a given field and develop skills to help you navigate various life situations. However, everyone has a talent or two that they can use to benefit their lives and those of other people. What’s your talent? Are you a singer, footballer, or anything along these lines?
Well, the good news is that most universities have clubs and societies created specifically for people with special abilities. If such activities are among your priorities, then, you’ll need to choose an institution that has exactly or something similar to what you’re looking for. Luckily enough, most universities highlight the available clubs and societies on their “Student Life” page.
4. Campus And Private Apartments
Where are you going to live once you begin your studies? This is something that some students fail to consider, thus they end up being frustrated in their first few weeks or months in the university. Nearly every higher education institution has student apartments that one may pay for at the beginning of every semester. Usually, they are located just next to the institution for safety purposes.
There is also the option of living in off-campus apartments, but this is dependent on many things. First, some universities demand that students live within the campus for their first two academic years. From the third year onwards, they can look for other housing services. Another factor is the distance of these apartments from the institution. You’d want to live near the school to avoid coming to class late. It will also give you enough time in the evening to finish up your assignments without having to worry about your safety at night.
After you have put all the factors above into consideration, the final step will be to choose a university that you can afford. Well, you don’t necessarily need to pay all the fees in full because there is financial support offered by most institutions. So, what you have to do is check everything that has to do with finance and measure its affordability. Some universities may not offer any bursary, while others will only require you to pay for your accommodation.
Whether you are flying abroad or learning within your hometown, you’ll still need some cash for your upkeep. The main focus here will be on the cost of living in that city. The best thing is that there is always a way around such financial barriers, provided you exhaust all the available channels. Nonetheless, you’ll still need an estimated monthly or annual cost to help you plan ahead and budget your funds.
The success of your career depends on the foundation. Campus life is among the building blocks; therefore, you’ll need to give your best. Choosing the right college to pursue your dreams can be quite challenging. However, if you consider the factors discussed in this article, you might find it quite simple. Remember, campus life is not only about classwork, but also extracurricular activities. Therefore, do your research before sending your application.