Blog by Guest Author: amberstudent.com
Rather than an international tag on the certificate, studying abroad can level up your life on different levels. It enhances your learning, broadens your perspectives, polishes your soft skills, and develops a holistic view of the world.
But, when given a choice to pick a higher education path, you often think about the name of the University you want to graduate from. You imagine the hallways you would have the farewell snap from. As you get into daydreaming, prominent factors that make a considerable difference often go unnoticed. To help you make a decision, we are here with a step-by-step guide to choose the perfect University abroad.
1. Shortlist a country
While shortlisting countries best suited for your career choice, consider your home country too. Compare the benefits and drawbacks you would have over your home country. Looking at the learning opportunities, job prospects and educational standards of foreign countries is an excellent way to decide if the move is worth it. Once you have a ‘strong why’ to go abroad, then draw out relevant parameters to choose the perfect place.
Rely on different sources to know the treatment of internationals, the location advantage in your career development, the political and economic condition of the country, the visa policies, and the general climate of the country. Apart from excelling in your career, you must have an enjoyable time in your new setting.
2. Pick a course
A common mistake students make is they pick a University first and a course second. Remember the reason you started in the first place. You should never select a course because of the reputation a University holds. You want to choose a course whose contents you benefit from and whose process you enjoy.
Look for the scope, relevance, content and structure of the course and weigh them against your aptitude and interests. Go through the course pages thoroughly to get a detailed view of the lectures, assignments, workshops, projects, internships and scholarship options. Talk to current students and seniors to find out what kept them passionate about the course and keen on learning. Get in touch with teachers, follow aptitude tests and explore different options before settling for a course.
3. Find a student accommodation
With the number of international students rising at a steady rate, it’s as competitive to get a nice and cheap accommodation near University as getting into the college of your choice. AmberStudent is here to help you make a deliberate choice for your ‘home away from home’. It is the preferred choice of millions of students across most popular Universities like University College London and University of Oxford, where students are assisted through each step in finding their home.
There are many student housing options available such as University dorms, private student apartments, or homestays. Most student hostels have spacious halls, communal areas and study rooms, all customised for students. Depending on the cost, comfort and distance from University, pick the one that suits you best.
4. Learn about the standard and cost of living
Studying abroad can cost you a fortune if you don’t plan for the expenses on your way. Be very particular about where you spend your money if you don’t want to be broke midway. First, understand the ways your cash flows in and out. Make a list of the major expenses like tuition fees, food, accommodation, travel, study materials and healthcare. Then, plan a strategy to spend wisely and stick to it.
Enquire about student scholarships and educational loans well in advance. Look for ways to save money. You can take up different part-time jobs like food delivery, salesperson, tutoring and dog sitting to make extra bucks. In many countries, students can avail discounts on museum, theatres, bookstores or even restaurants. In many student cities like Huddersfield, Bournemouth, and Leeds, you can find cheap student housings near the campus with shared utilities.
5. Be clear about the admission requirements
Before you sit down to apply, ensure you are eligible to apply based on GPA and language test scores. Have all the documents like motivation letter, recommendation letter and statement of purpose (SOP) ready. Read through the websites and be aware of any entrance exams or intake interviews. You may also need passport-sized photos, identity proofs and attested copies of academic transcripts. Apply well in time before the deadline.
To improve the chances of admission, brush up your subject skills by attending webinars, workshops or short-term courses. Practices and upgrade your communication skills since they will come in handy in an interview as well as during your stay abroad. Do not forget to mention any work/learning experience you have around the domain you are applying for.
6. Research the career prospects
Do you wish to return to your own country once you graduate? If so, how relevant are the degree and its job prospects in your own country? If not, what are the possible jobs an expat can get into? Does the University offer outreach programs to enhance career prospects? Is the University situated in a place with a diverse set of industries? Does it guarantee you a placement upon graduation? Research and reflect as you find answers to these questions.
Reach out to people on LinkedIn or other social media handles to learn more about possible job prospects. Keep an eye on the placement rates and check with alumni to learn about potential career paths. Check with yourself if you would be interested in making a career out of it. Go through the University web pages to understand the job status of the former students.
7. Compare different Universities
Based on the above parameters, you might have shortlisted a set of Universities. Now, it’s time to choose the ‘one’ from the list. Compare the accreditation, certificate value and international ranking of the Universities. Look into social aspects like the functioning of healthcare systems, the efficiency of support networks on campus, and activities of international communities.
Do extensive research via trusted platforms and be open to options. Make use of open days to visit the place and interact with students and teachers to get a well-rounded idea. The key is to know that there is no right or wrong option. Get honest feedback from reliable sources. You should choose a place that acknowledges your learning and guarantees your growth.
How can AmberStudent help you?
AmberStudent are devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation. They have upgraded continuously with the COVID policies and would be more than eager to assist you in finding the best home away from home.