Student and Graduate Publishing

How to Choose the Best University For Your Studies

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 15:14

 - Choosing your studies or the university to obtain your Bachelor, Master or PhD degree is not as easy as you think and it takes longer than you expect in the first place. If you already have an idea or actually know what you want to do in the future and want to build a career on it later, the decision is not that difficult. But there are other factors you should consider.

Programme of studies
When you know which field of study you are interested in, the next step is to choose which country is best for your studies. If you are interested in language studies, maybe the best you can do is to study in the country where this particular language is spoken. This will be a great advantage for you, since you have the chance to practise and improve every day. If you are interested, for example,  in subjects like Economics, Biology, Engineering, Medicine etc., research which universities are specialised in these fields.

 You can find and compare Masters programmes across the world on MastersPortal.com

Official language
Another point you may need to acknowledge is the language(s) spoken in the country of your choice. Ask yourself the following questions: 

1.Do I speak the language?

2.If yes, is my level of knowledge high enough to study in that language ?

3.If not, do I need to take language courses before the start of my studies? Is it a must for the university to which I am applying?

There are many university programmes taught in English if you don’t speak the official language. In the Netherlands, for example, many universities offer English-taught study programmes, while Master programmes in Europe are usually all taught in English. 

Duration of your studies
Both Bachelor and Master degrees can have a different duration depending on the country, university and field of study. Most Bachelor degrees take three to four years, while most Master degrees take one or two years. 

Recognition of diploma
In case you are choosing a study destination abroad, you need to ask yourself why you want to study abroad. Are you looking for a different experience or do you want to work abroad after you get your university degree? If you plan to work in a country that is different from the country where you studied, then you must  research and check the status and recognition of your diploma. There are many people who studied abroad and could not get recognition of their university diploma in their home country - or it took them a lot of time and money. 

Central or more suburban area?
Central areas offer a wide range of opportunities. This can mean finding a job easily, whether full-time or part-time, travelling to and from the university without  inconvenience, getting easy access to banks, post offices and the city center etc. For some, especially young students, night life is a crucial aspect to consider, which is something that varies from city to city. Although some find suburban areas for studying dull and not at all exciting, for others it is a relief not having too many distractions during their studies. But everyone should choose according to their own personal likes and dislikes.

Tuition fees/financial aspects
Tuition fees also need to be taken into account before making your final decision as most universities have tuition fees. If you or your parents can afford them, it is not a problem. If not, there are other possibilities to finance your studies, such as scholarships, student loans and student jobs, amongst others. There are many part-time jobs for students who want to work and study at the same time and there are also part-time study programmes. It does take longer to graduate, but you can study and earn money at the same time. Of course, there also countries with rather low or even no tuition fees such as Germany or Finland.

Find and compare Bachelor programmes in Europe without tuition fees on Bachelorsportal.com

Weather/climate
The weather is probably the last and least important thing to think about. However, if you come from a warm country  you should consider if places like Finland or Sweden are maybe too cold for you, or the other way around, you find  countries like Spain, Italy or Greece too warm and prefer a colder climate. On the other hand, depending on your country of origin, you might also be looking for a change of climate and experience different seasons.

A little advice at the end
Start by writing down which criteria are most important to you for your study choice, and which are least important. 

This may help you to make some decisions. Then apply to several different universities, even if they are not your first choice! Things might not work out the way you expect and you may not get accepted to the university of your first choice, but maybe at the university that is second on your preference list

The process of finding the right university is sometimes hard and exhausting, but it is worth it! Having a diploma in a field you are truly interested in has great value! 

 

For more about Postgraduate study, see here