Choosing A University: How To Pick One That Is Right For You

Choosing a university can be a difficult task. 

With hundreds of choices available, how do you know to pick one that aligns with your interests and can provide the top-notch student experience you deserve? 

Heading off to college or university is an exciting experience that many young adults look forward to after graduating from high school. After all, it is a beginning of a new chapter in your journey as there is a multitude of new people to meet, an array of friendships to be formed, opportunities for personal development to take part in, and new experiences to digest!

Choosing a university that fits your lifestyle is important.
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In this article, we’ll show you the steps and aspects of a university that you can consider to pick one that suits your preference. With the right amount of research of these factors, you’ll be able to identify the right institution for yourself in no time.  

Organize A Checklist 

Compile a list of the schools that you are interested to study at. Having a checklist to refer to will help narrow down your choices and provide a clear objective on the type of institutions you want to apply to.  

Here are some factors that you can use in choosing a university for your list: 

  • Location 
  • Campus Facilities and Amenities 
  • Tuition Fees and Financial Aid
  • Programmes and Courses  
  • Student Development Activities 
  • Student Accommodation 
  • Career Services 

If you need help, you can check out our guide for a college checklist here on how to make your application an effective one!   

 Research The Course Content 

Course content is a big factor that influences your decision in choosing a university. Hence, you should probably research on the courses and programmes of each institution first before adding it to your checklist.  

First, decide on a course that is relevant to your interests. Later, you can identify the areas that you want to focus on and specialize in when it’s time to pick a major. However, if you are unsure of the direction you want to take, you can choose a course that allows you the flexibility to study different subjects and the freedom to select an area of specialization later on. There are several courses for this, such as the American Degree Programme.  

The best way to do this is by researching the syllabus and curriculum of the programmes you’re interested in. You can refer to the university’s official website for information on the course requirement and modules or approach our friendly counsellors for additional information. They’ll be happy to help!  

You can consult a counsellor to help in choosing a university.

It is advisable to match the course content with your own interests and consider how it will impact your career path in the future. Chances are that that you’ll go on to pursue a career in a similar field of your studies, so researching the course content is important to ensure that you will be making the right choice for your future.  

Think Of The Location 

Ask yourself these questions: how far do you want to be from home during your studies? Would you be more comfortable living in a big city or in a small town where home is close by? 

If you prefer to be close to home (and your mom’s delicious cooking) then it might be better for you to look for a university in your home town or somewhere nearby.  

However, if you’re eager to leave home and spread your wings, then you can explore universities in a different state or even another country if you’re feeling adventurous enough. Studying abroad is a great choice if you want to gain a fresh perspective on the way people work, interact, and immerse themselves in the culture of different parts of the world. Read up on the further advantages on studying abroad here 

Choose a university that provides a support system when you study abroad.
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If you do choose to study abroad, you have to realize that you’ll be moving away from the comfort of your family and into an environment that is unfamiliar to you. This means you’ll need to brush up on life skills such as cooking, doing your own laundry, buying groceries, and performing your part of the house chores.  

Consider The Costs & Budget 

Finances are something every student should consider when choosing a university. You’ll be spending on food, entertainment, accommodation, public transport, textbooks, and printing resources, so it’s important consider these factors and how they fit into your budget.  

Some universities offer financial aid packages for students who want to study abroad, so do check with the university counsellor if you are eligible for those. However, if you decide to study in a local university nearby, you are likely to spend less money and can save for future expenses.  

Ultimately, it depends on the kind of environment you want to study in and the leeway of your budget. Taking these costs into account and considering how they fit into your budget is an important factor to help you choose a university. 

Check University Rankings  

While university rankings are not completely accurate, they are a good indicator of the institution’s reputation and quality of programmes they offer. 

For example, did you know that Taylor’s University’s Hospitality & Leisure Management subject held a position in the Top 20 of QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2020? It was this achievement that led the university to make a name for itself as the only institution in Malaysia with a Top 20 rank in the QS Subject category.  

Thus, when doing your research, look at the overall ranking of the university, but be sure to check how well-rounded their courses are. Aside from Academic Reputation, here are some important factors that you should consider: 

  • Employer Reputation 
  • Campus Environment 
  • Degree Accreditation  
  • Industry Partnerships 
  • Faculty/Student Ratio 

Depending on what is important to you, you can check the ranking tables to get an estimate of the quality of the aspect of the university you are interested in.  

For example, some students may prioritize the availability of Scholarships & Financial Aid as their main incentive, while others may prefer to look at the Faculty/Student Ratio for a more personalized teaching environment.  

Look Up Active Clubs & Societies 

Aside from academics, you want to be choosing a university that supports a healthy social life. One way to evaluate this is to check the active clubs and societies that are organizing current events. You can tell the quality of a student’s educational experience by just checking the number of clubs and societies that are running and actively participating in events.  

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Clubs and societies are a big part of the university’s community, so you should pick one that you will enjoy being a part of.  If you love basketball, check out the basketball team! If you’re a huge movie fanatic, keep an eye out for the film club. Most university campuses have a specific vibe that caters to the majority of students, so pick an atmosphere that will be a good fit for your personality!  

Most universities list their clubs and societies on the official website or promotional brochures, so you can get an idea of the campus life there. After all, university isn’t just about studying, but enjoying your student experience as a whole!  

Choosing a university isn’t too complicated when you have a clear objective in mind. Consider your priorities, focus on the goal, and enjoy your journey. As university life only happens once, be sure to make the most out of it while you can!  

University can be one of the best experiences in your life as a college student. Find out some of the best ways to enjoy it here 

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