Deciding to study at university is a huge step – and going overseas to do it is even bigger. With thousands of options out there, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing the right international university to study at. So where do you begin? We’ve got some tips you might find helpful.
Think about what you want to study
Knowing what you want to study can help narrow down your options. Follow your heart and choose something you’re passionate about – but don’t forget to be realistic as well. Consider whether your dream job requires certain qualifications, and whether or not international qualifications are recognised in your home country.
Start researching locations
Chances are if you want to study overseas you’ve already got your heart set on a location. Do some research about the country or city you’d like to study in. What is it like to live there? What are living costs like? If you’re moving to a country with a different native language, do you feel comfortable speaking it (or are you willing to learn)? If you want to stay and work after finishing your studies, what are the career opportunities like in your chosen field?
Climate and weather can also be a big factor, including whether or not you’ll need to be prepared for natural disasters.
You might also like to research a country’s laws and attitude towards certain communities, particularly if you’re a woman or LGBTQIA+, as you might find your rights and safety are different compared to your home country.
Take a look at universities
Now that you know what you want to study and where, you can start looking at universities. Check out university websites and see what kinds of courses they offer, and do some research into their rankings and ratings. Carefully research their admissions process for international students, and see if you can read reviews from current or former students about their experience. See what language classes are taught in and if this will work for you.
Don’t forget to consider other factors like clubs, extra-curricular activities, student support networks, accommodation options, and careers services.
You can also attend virtual open days and webinars to learn more and ask any questions you might have.
Do up a budget
Moving out of home and studying both come with a lot of expenses. Here are some things you’ll need to make sure you can cover:
- Tuition fees and study expenses (textbooks, etc.)
- Accommodation fees or rent
- Daily living expenses (food, essentials, luxuries)
- Flights to your destination
- If you’re bringing stuff with you, the cost of having things moved
- Visa or sponsorship costs
- Extra money set aside for emergencies
This is also a good time to research scholarship and funding opportunities that might be able to help cover some of these expenses.
You’ll also need to consider how you’re going to cover these costs on an ongoing basis – are you lucky enough to get funding from parents, or will you need to find part-time work while you study?
Make your move
Once you’ve done your research and feel confident, the final step is to apply! Or if you’re still not quite sure, that’s OK too – universities often have multiple intake dates, or you might like to look into similar options like student exchange instead.
Whatever your future holds, we wish you the best of luck.