If you’re lucky enough to have narrowed your five initial choices of institutions down to two and have been accepted into both then firstly well done. Now it’s time to make one of the biggest decisions of your life, where do you pick to carry out your studies? The main way to do this is to compare the institutions in relation to costs, achievements, location, facilities and much more.
Where do I Start?
A big deciding factor could be the cost of the course you are choosing to study or the location of the university. Cost is a huge factor in deciding what institution you should study at; especially since the increase in course costs were introduced. Different institutions charge different fees.
You may find there is a difference of £1000. If you are going to be paying more for your course it could be to your advantage to first understand why. Are the facilities at the university of industry standard? Are the lecturers’ specialists in their area of expertise? Are you definitely going to get your money’s worth from that institution?
If there is very little difference between the institutions, their facilities and the course, consider why you might be expected to pay extra at one institution.
When you are studying abroad then you need to take into account how difficult it will be to obtain the visa needed to study there. It may be more difficult to get a visa to study in one location compared to another and this may go some way to swaying your decision. To find out more on visas click here.
It may sound silly but the university itself may be what helps you to decide which is best suited to you and your needs. Look at the universities prestige and history, see what graduating students have gone on to achieve career-wise. Employability after university is always one of the key considerations for prospective students, so it may be wise now to take an interest in ways an institution can help you make the most out of your degree.
Do you recognise the lecturers and tutors? If they are specialists in their fields and are well known then you might expect that this is an institution which could offer you one of the best experiences money can buy.
Take a look at the university rankings, where you can see where each of the institutions rank based on a set criteria. This may give you an idea of what to expect from an institution regarding your education.
For some students the location of a university can help sway their decision as to where they will choose to study. Some people decide it is best not to study too far away from their home country in case they get home sick. Some have strong connections with their family and want to be able to get home as quickly as possible at the end of term.
Of course, you may want to study a bit further away, but bear in mind that flights to the other side of the world can cost over US$1,000 return. So that’s an extra US$1000 every time you want to go home!
You may find that both of shortlisted institutions are very similar in what they can offer to students and the costs of the course may work out to be very similar. If you find that you are drawn to one because your heart tells you that that is the institution for you then maybe you should listen and opt for that. If you feel like you’ll be comfortable there and are confident that it is the institution for you then go for it.