Studying at a university is a big decision. It is two to four years of your life that will be spent living and dining on campus. You’ll form friendships, professional relationships, and build your future at your particular university. Universities are also very expensive; it costs a lot of money to go to university even if you have a scholarship. If you have scholarship that doesn’t cover all of your expenses, you could end up taking out loans. Essentially, when you are choosing a university, you need to take the costs very seriously. First, you need to consider which course of study you want to embark on; the rest of your decisions will flow from there.
Choose a Course
The first step in choosing a university is choosing which course you would like to take. There are many general course offerings that are offered at practically every liberal arts university. They are fields in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Also, some more dedicated liberal arts degrees are offered at many different universities, such as English, Spanish, and psychology. These are all very common course offerings, and if you want to embark on one of them, you will have many different options at a university. You can then begin to schedule campus visits on university open days.
However, if you are drawn to a less common course of study, you’ll have to do a little more research. For example, one university might offer a very specific degree in the study of one or two specific philosophies as opposed to philosophy as a whole. Some universities offer courses in communism, fascism, or other economic theories that are very specialised. If you’re drawn to that specificity, you need to find a website that allows you to search through different university courses to compare and contrast. Once you have a list of universities, it’s time for open days.
Open days are days on which you can visit the university and take a guided tour. It’s not required that you visit a university before you apply or before you accept your admission. If you have already been to the university before, you’ve been able to see what it’s really like. Alternately, if you have limited options, visiting might not be necessary. However, for most people, a university visit is a good idea.
When you get brochures or visit the websites of universities, they are presenting their best selves. They are essentially advertising a product to you; that product is the university itself. Going on a university visit allows you to look behind the curtain and see what the university is really like. Most open days allow you to see where students live, where students eat, and different halls of learning. Keep in mind that they’re still presenting a sanitised image to you. They will show you the nicest dormitories, the most interesting buildings, and the most engaging classes. Nonetheless, it is important to see what kind of life you might have if you visited that particular university; there is a lot to be learned on a university visit.