Top 11 things to consider when choosing a foreign university!

Deciding on which colleges to apply can be a difficult task. It’s important to consider several factors when it comes to short-listing colleges or universities as you will likely spend decent amount of money on the application fees for each university or college you apply to. In this post we will discuss some important points you must consider before finalizing your list of universities.

On Campus jobs and assistantships are a great way to earn some money while taking classes.

1. Campus Location

Are you someone who dreams of the fast-paced city life with all the hustle and bustle or someone who enjoys the quiet and calm countryside living? Knowing what type of location you prefer is vital as you will spend a minimum of four years in and around the campus if not more. Also, look at the neighborhood area and note down the accessible grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacy as you will likely be walking around for the first few months. Make sure to check the crime rates as well as safety should always be your top priority.

2. Programs and Courses offered

It is important that the university you are looking to go to offers the program and courses you are interested in. Although time consuming it is worth to spend some time and compare the courses offered amongst universities and which one’s interest you the most and thus will be helpful for your career and knowledge.

3. On Campus Jobs and Assistantships

As some countries have restrictions on working outside the university while you are on a student visa, it helps to do some research about On-Campus job opportunities and assistantships (teaching or research) the university might offer. They are a great way to earn some money while taking classes. Moreover, you don’t have to travel anywhere as it is right on the campus. You should be able to cover your rent, grocery and other necessary monthly expenses through on campus part time jobs or assistantships if you are lucky to get one.

4. Ranking

It is a common doubt that a lot of students have whether university rankings matter. I would say they do matter to a certain extent when it comes to applying for internships or jobs and if you wish to study even further then your education background will have a good weightage.

5. Financial aid or tuition fees

Finances are a major concern among a lot of students. Most universities will have tuition fees and financial aid if any mentioned on their website, so it is a good idea to check those details to shortlist universities.

6. Career Fairs

The most important thing that everyone has at the back of their mind is getting a job upon graduation. Most universities hold career fairs from time to time to give their students an opportunity to be placed. You should be able to find information about career fairs and other educational events on the university’s website.

7. Library

You will likely spend more time in the library than you imagine especially when the exams are nearing. Most libraries have a vast selection of academic and other books. They also offer group study rooms you can book in advance be it for preparing for exams with your friends or discussing ideas for your class project with your team. You should be able to grab some pictures of the university’s library on its website.

8. Housing

It doesn’t hurt to do some research on housing options offered at the university or if you wish to stay off campus, you can also search about off campus accommodations. This will give you an idea of how much monthly expenses you will need while you are studying at the university.

9. Other facilities and events

If you are someone who likes extracurricular activities and events be it in sports, celebrations or parties be sure to check the university site or events calendar to get an idea of what they offer. Also, if you are into fitness, do not forget to look at the gym services available to students.

10. Transportation- Shuttle Service

Some university campuses are huge. Hence you will be likely needing shuttle service to make your transportation easier.

11. Geography – Climate Change

Narrow your list by omitting the states you would like to skip going for college to. I am not asking you to be picky but if you are someone who has a low tolerance to cold then you are better of avoiding going to a state where it snows more than 6 months! Similarly, if you dislike extreme hot weather you should avoid southern states or keep them low in your college priority list.

I hope these tips gave you some insight into factors you should consider for choosing universities. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper or create a spreadsheet on your computer to start shortlisting colleges. 

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