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How to pick a university that’s right for you?

Last updated on 20 Apr 2018

photo-1503221043305-f7498f8b7888.jpeg Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

By Rebecca Isjwara

So many great universities in the world, so little time. You can only pick a handful and hope that one will think you’re a good fit as you are them, but where to start? Some relatives you know are in Germany, some friends recommend Budapest, and your professor has a personal connection to a university in the Netherlands. Here are our few guidelines to picking out a university that’s for you:

1. Determine what you’re looking for

Determining what you want is the first step to choosing a university for yourself. Do you want to be in a city university, where all the business headquarters are centered? Would you rather live near the countrysides to experience a relaxing university life? Want a university that has a renowned nuclear energy research lab? Jot down all your “requirements”, and this will be a list you check off when browsing through dream universities.

2. Ranks

Although you should not just pick a university based on its rankings, these top lists are a good place to start. Organisations such as QS World Rankings and Times Higher Education assess universities annually to determine their quality and rank them based on a composite score that’s comprised of research, international mix, and more. There are different lists you could look into, such as which is the best university in Europe, or which university is best for its social sciences department.

3. Cost and scholarships

It’s also important to know how much your education will cost, and how you plan to fund it. What are your family’s funding limitations, or what scholarships can you obtain to bypass it? Ehef.id regularly updates our website with scholarship information, so be sure to keep checking back or reach out directly to learn more about how to get to the university of your dreams.

4. Employment opportunities

Some countries make it easier to work rather than others, and this might be something you would like to keep in mind. If you need to work alongside your studies, finding a country that would allow this legally would be best. If you plan to work overseas after graduation, find a country that is not very strict on issuing work visas.

5. Check the requirements

What does your dream university require? Do they expect you to already publish a few papers, or have a GPA average that’s high? If you are on a tight deadline, you might want to look into universities whose requirements you already fulfill. Otherwise, you have a little bit of leeway to work towards the requirements set up by the admissions team.

6. Consult your school advisor

In the midst of your confusion, don’t forget to reach out to your school or university advisor to ask about their opinion on the matter. They might also be able to point a few references in your direction, such as which professor was affiliated with which university, or where is the closest test center to take your English proficiency tests.