How to Choose your University

Athena Barris

Updated on Apr 18 • 3 minute read

When choosing a university abroad, it’s essential to consider not only the university’s reputation but also take into consideration other factors such as the cost of tuition, facilities and courses on offer. With so many options out there, I'll disucss how you can easily choose your univeristy for your study abroad.

1. Checking International Ratings

Applicants first check international ratings. The most well-known and reputable ones are QS-THES-200 and ARWU-500. But don’t blindly trust the ratings, as recently established/young university might not be mentioned in the ratings although they can offer state-of-the-art facilities, small thus efficient studying groups, and much more. Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that your desired degree is not always taught in the best way at the prestigious university. For example, Harvard University is famous for its business education but what about evolutionary biology? Massachusetts Institute of Technology is well known for its achievements in engineering but no one says that it has a strong human studies department.

If you would like to start a PhD you should first ask about publications in scientific journals, various expert assessments, citation indexes of the university (ARWU, QS ratings will help).

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee is one of the key things to consider when choosing a university abroad. The most expensive countries for studying are UK and USA, following by countries in Western Europe. You’ll find cheaper options in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Of course, this is just average data, prices will vary from one institution to another. Remember that college tuition fees are lower than in universities or polytechnic schools. Moreover, there are grants and scholarships offered by universities to help support your time there. In the USA if you can provide the university with a documental proof that you need financial support, you will get a significant discount on tuition fee.

Technical Equipment and its Availability

Always try to find out what facilities the university offers, such as laboratories, scientific research centers and libraries on campus. How well are they equipped? Do students have access to these facilities during out of school hours? Will you be able to do your project or research there? For scientific students this is one of the most essential points. If your interests lie in scientific research, it makes sense to get familiar with the scientific work of the faculty. Is your research/thesis advisor among them? Furthermore, pay attention to university foreign partnerships. Find out if there are opportunities to get an internship in big companies plus it would be good to study employment statistics of the graduates. To find this information conduct thorough research on the university websites, contact the international office or ask any questions via social media.

Number of Teachers and Students

Ask about the number of teachers and students. This numbers will give you a good understanding of how big the classes are. If there are a lot of students but not that many teachers the quality of education can suffer. Another figure to look at - the number of foreign students. What’s the percentage of students from other countries? Are foreigners treated friendly in this city, country?

Safety and Standing of Living

Pay attention to the factors like safety and quality of life in the city where you are going to spend a few months or even years. Climate and weather also matters. James Cook University, for example, is said to be the best for ocean examining studies but will you survive the tropical climate? Look where the campus is situated. Are there enough parks, bus stops, cafes in the area?

Visa issues and part-time work possibilities while Studying

One of the most important questions when choosing a university abroad is the visa process. In some countries, like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the graduates have an opportunity to get a work visa for 1-3 years after they finish their studies. In most European countries you cannot stay, you have to leave the country after graduation. Another question to ask is if your student visa allows you to work in the country of your university. For example, students in Australia are allowed to work 20 hours per week during school time and unlimited time during school breaks. The money earned this way is enough to cover food costs and some minor expenses, even accommodation sometimes.

Assistance with choosing a university

This article is just a summary of the main things to consider when choosing a university. To take all the subtle things into consideration, you can get a professional assistance from platform such as to help you choose a university but also your program and have further help with the enrollment process. Furthermore, they can help you with filling in and editing the online application and other documents. They’re professional experience can help you prepare your documents for the university in a quality manner and within shortest time for the future enrollment at university.

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