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What to do if you are not happy with your university course

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You might find upon starting your course at university that you are not enjoying the course that you chose, or that it may have been the wrong choice for you. The are several steps to consider in this scenario and you can make sure that you still get the most out of your time at university.

Try to address the issues with your course

First things first, you should try to identify what it is that you don’t enjoy about your current course. It may be that the workload has surprised you. Perhaps you simply feel a bit lonely in your seminars or lectures. Maybe you feel slightly homesick if you have moved away.

These are the kind of issues that many students face and often can be overcome with a little persistence and time. If you can make some new friends with those around you, you will come to understand that these are quite common concerns and by supporting each other when you need some help you can quickly establish a strong base for yourself. Most universities provide plenty of help and support for their students, particularly for those in their first few weeks, so don’t bottle it all up, go out and see what assistance there is for you.

If your problem lies with the contents of the course itself, try reminding yourself of your initial motivation to study. Was this what you saw yourself studying when you chose your course? Do you still imagine your future career being in this area? If the answer to these question is yes, then identify what you can do to make your current course a better proposition for you.

Talk to your tutors to identify if there are other modules that you might enjoy more, or to see if extra tuition is available, if that is what you need. Your tutors may be able to provide alternative resolutions to your issues that you have not yet considered. Talk to other students on your course to see what they think about your situation.

See alsoWhat is culture shock (homesickness) and how to deal with it when studying abroad

Changing your course

If you are convinced that you need to change the course you have enrolled upon, you must decide what course you would like to move to. Make sure you consider what you would like to do in your future career but also try to talk to existing students and tutors when making this decision. You do not want to find yourself in the same situation after switching courses.

Switching courses can be a simple process depending on the procedures and course availability at your institution, but it is much more straightforward if you act quickly. This ensures that you don’t miss too much of your new course and makes financial matters much simpler.

If you have secured a scholarship to study your current course you may not be entitled to this funding if you switch courses, so make sure to determine this before making any final decisions.

It might be that you also want to move institution and this can make things slightly more complicated. Transferring universities can mean repeating your first year and could also have financial ramifications with your student loans and accommodation fees. You will need to apply for your new course and also keep in contact with the appropriate staff at your current university to negotiate your leaving dates and what tuition fees are due.

Finally, if as an international student you had to secure a study visa to attend university, switching courses or universities may affect your eligibility for your study visa. Make sure to discuss this with the international department of your institution before making your decision.

Last resort

If you can’t switch to a course that you would like to study, or find that the university you have chosen simply isn’t for you, then withdrawing from university can be a sensible solution. It is important that you are happy with your decision so do not rush.

If you withdraw from university then depending on how much of your current course you have completed, you may be eligible to receive an intermediate award, so discuss this with your course leader.

Ensure that you have considered what will happen to any student finance or loans that you have received as well as any fees for tuition or accommodation that you may have already paid or be liable for.

If you do have to withdraw from university do not let this put you off from future studies. When you find the course you would like to study you will have to apply as a new student but your experience will better place you to make the correct choice.

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