After making up your mind to study abroad, everyone faces the first big choice – what school should I choose?
The number of universities around the world is as numerous as stars. Only by doing well in the initial school selection plan can we effectively promote the subsequent processes and achieve a definite purpose. It can be said that formulating an excellent school selection plan is the first and crucial step in the application for studying abroad.
So, how to choose a suitable school for studying abroad?
Table of Contents
1. Define the framework
Before we start, we must first understand what the specific framework of an excellent school selection plan looks like. Simply put, it is to be clear: what we need is a school selection plan.
Generally speaking, the institutions included in a complete school selection plan can be divided into three categories:
Guaranteed schools: Your academic qualifications are on par with the average for freshmen at this school. For you, this type of school is basically a choice that can guarantee you to receive an offer.
Moderate schools: Your academic qualifications are slightly below the average for freshmen at this school. Although admission to such schools is not guaranteed for you, it can be achieved with certain efforts.
Sprint School: It is what we usually call Dream School. The application of such schools is more difficult, and the specific admission possibility depends on the degree of improvement of one’s own ability.
The first step in the targeted selection of schools is to have a practical evaluation of yourself. For your own accurate assessment, you can get it through self-examination, or you can consult the consultants of professional institutions, and get it through scientific guidance.
Using your own grades as the target, you will get a larger selection area, and then it will be more appropriate to subdivide the work. The key reference scores are GPA, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT/CAT, etc.
Before you start subdividing school selection, it is recommended that you also consider the following questions:
l What are your career aspirations?
l What is your interest?
l What is your learning style?
l What are your preferences for different regions?
l What are your academic interests, strengths and weaknesses?
l What kind of school are you suitable for?
l What would you like to achieve academically, socially, personally, professionally, etc.?
Self-assessment is permanent and ongoing. When choosing a school, you will find that your goals and development expectations will continue to change, which is also a process of deep understanding of yourself.
3. School evaluation
It is not advisable to refer to rankings alone or to evaluate schools based on personal preferences. We need to comprehensively select schools by integrating various reference factors.
Consider the school’s world ranking, majors, strong disciplines, school type, teacher-student ratio, class size, exchange programs, etc.
The world rankings can provide you with a differentiated orientation on the school level at the macro level. If you already have a target major, then you can consider whether the school offers this major; if it is not clear, you should at least determine the general direction when choosing a school.
Reference tools: US NEWS ranking, QS ranking, school official website, etc.
– Social Fit
Consider the country where the school is located, geographical location, environmental climate, campus culture, and the proportion of international students.
Some people may be suitable for meditative research in schools with a strong academic atmosphere; some people may yearn for schools with a lively atmosphere and want to join clubs to exercise their social abilities. A suitable school environment and campus atmosphere are very important for your future study and life.
Reference tools: school official website, school newspaper, school forum, Niche, YouTube, Quora, CatEight, etc.
– Financial Cost
Consider the tuition fees, average living expenses, scholarships/bursaries, etc. of international students in the school.
There are also various economic factors that you must take into account. The scale of scholarships/bursaries set up by the school for international students can reflect the school’s attitude towards international students to a certain extent.
Reference tools: school official website, school newspaper, school forum, YouTube, etc.
Consider the school’s internship opportunities, further education planning, career centers, graduation rates, alumni, etc.
Future employment is bound to be a point of great concern for parents and students. You can find out whether the school is an internship base for a well-known international company, whether outstanding juniors and seniors have the opportunity to get internships in some well-known institutions, and how likely they are to stay.
Reference tools: school official website, school career center, school alumni network, etc.
In general, when choosing a school, everyone must rationally and comprehensively consider the above-mentioned factors. As long as you can carefully plan and choose according to people’s conditions and circumstances, I believe that you will be able to get a school selection plan that is most suitable for you.