“Where should I get my information from when deciding on what institution to study at?”
So much information can be sourced on the internet when you are researching where to study abroad that traditional forms of media and other sources of valuable information are all too easy to overlook. So what are the options available to you when you wish to learn more about your potential choice of university or college?
Before the internet arrived, the University prospectus was one of the main sources of information for potential students. Usually available in both printed booklet and digital form, prospectuses contain all the information you are likely to be seeking such as lists of the courses offered, details of facilities, maps of campuses, notable alumni and travel information for the institution.
Universities will use their prospectuses to highlight all of their potential benefits to you as a potential student, so they are a good way of judging what an institution has to offer you. Prospectuses usually contain information for the next academic year and ordering a few prospectuses from the different institutions you are interested in makes it easy to compare the institutions without taking to your computer.
Ordering a copy of a prospectus from the university of college that you are interested in is usually a simple process of providing you name and address on the appropriate section of the institutions website, or calling the relevant admissions contact. You may also be asked for your level of study and location, information which will be used to select the appropriate prospectus for you depending on whether you are studying at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctorate levels and whether you would be an international or a domestic student.
University or education fairs are a convenient way of meeting university representatives face to face without having to travel to university campuses. There are different kinds university fairs tailored to different audiences, so whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate there are likely to be fairs taking place near to you that are appropriate for you to attend. Often there will be a wide range of universities exhibiting at fairs, which makes it easy for you to learn about several different institutions in one day.
Universities typically send members of their recruitment teams to university fairs, so the staff you meet will be well placed to answer any of your queries and may be able to provide you with further sources of information such as prospectuses.
University open days allow you to visit the universities that you are really interested in attending. By attending a university open day you will be able to assess at first-hand the facilities and setting of the university, as well as asking current students any questions you may have about university life. It is best to read university websites or call universities direct to find out when open days are available. Attending an open day at a university is likely to be the best chance you have to assess whether you feel a university is right for you, but involves travelling to the university in question.
For those of you planning to study abroad, this may not be possible but a good alternative offered on many university websites is a virtual open day. Virtual open days tend to be interactive web pages full of useful information, but can also be live-streaming events which give you the chance to interact with current students and academic staff about the courses you are interested in.
As recently covered by StudyLink, speaking to alumni of the universities you are considering is a chance for you to gain insights first-hand from those who have already experienced life at university. You will be able to ask all about the courses you are interested in, the facilities and quality of teaching available to you and how the reality of studying your chosen course stacks up against the promotional material you have read.
University agents are good sources of help and advice particularly if you are choosing to apply for a university abroad. Most universities recommend that you use agents from a list of approved agents that they have vetted thoroughly to ensure their suitability and ability to provide you with accurate advice. University’s websites are the best place to look for lists of approved education agents.
Finishing this article where I started it, the internet is often the most convenient and accessible source of information about particular universities that you are considering. Universities all generally have thorough websites covering all facets of university life, with detailed information covering courses, admission procedures, accommodation options and course costs and fees. Many university websites are geared up to accept applications online and all provide you with appropriate contact information should you wish to discuss your options.
There are also third party websites such as StudyLink which are valuable sources of information with features such as university course listings, study destination and subject guides and make great starting points when you are planning to study abroad.
When it comes to making your final choice and applying to university, try to make sure that you have done as much research as possible using any of the sources of information that are available to you.If you want to receive the StudyLink Study Abroad Newsletter, so that you get the most up to date study abroad advice in your inbox, you can sign up here.
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