It’s finally time to start thinking about university! There is so much excitement and anticipation surrounding this process; where do you start? The best place to start is always with YOU!
Get to know yourself; self-reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, your values and goals, and dreams for your future. Once you determine what’s important to you, that’s when you’ll be more prepared to seek outside opinions. You are the only one who can choose the right college or university that will shape your tomorrow.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help guide you in determining if the “shoe fits.”
How do I learn best?
Colleges and universities are unique and vary in terms of size and population. It is key to understand the type of learning environment where you will succeed. Do you thrive best in a dialogue-based class whereby it’s a smaller group of students and the professor, or are you a capable self-learner who can focus in large lecture halls with hundreds of students? There is a right and wrong answer based on your personal learning style, so be honest.
What are my interests?
Explore your interests outside of the classroom! Determine which activities you’re passionate about, such as sports, music, arts, outdoor activities or even gaming! Your interests are key to choosing the type of college experience you want. For example, if you’re passionate about music and want to continue honing your craft, then it’s important to look at schools where all students can participate in ensembles, regardless of their course major.
What do I want to be when I grow up?
Knowing and understanding your future ambitions will help you select an academic major. When looking into various courses, it’s also important to look into schools that offer research opportunities, and internships or co-ops to help enhance your learning and practical experiences.
What geographical location do I prefer?
Location is another important factor to consider when choosing the right university. Location includes climate and weather (warm vs cold, rain vs snowy winters) as well as the broader community size (big city vs urban vs rural), and if the area is welcoming to international students and students of color.
What can I afford?
Have a candid conversation with your family or sponsor who is funding your education. Keep the budget in mind as you’re researching schools and deciding where you’ll apply. Some schools will not offer any scholarships or financial aid to international students, thus it’s very important to know your budget. It can be devastating when you are admitted to a school but come to find out you cannot afford to attend.
What are people saying?
We live in an era where social media has the answers we seek. Take your time and check out the social media pages and testimonials for your schools of interest. These can give you raw and in-depth insight, since much of the time it’s the students’ reviews on the university.
Those are our tips for factors to consider as you’re beginning your university search! Explore our website for more information!
By Genevieve Mohamed