Choosing your ideal college abroad is an extremely personalized task – and often very challenging and stressful. This article aims to give you an ordered framework of aspects you need to consider to find a list perfect college destinations that you need to apply to.
First things first, the entire process must start early, so that you have ample time for uncertainty and error correction. Ideally, one must start preparation and research during early class XI (early high school). This includes a broad unbiased information gathering about colleges all over the world – cost of studying at various colleges, living costs in various countries, world economic and academic trends of popular majors, to name a few.
How to Choose your Ideal College Abroad
Step 1: Determine what you might like to study or major in at college. Yes, many students enter college ‘undecided’, and that’s fine, but if you have some idea of a career or a major, that information can help in finding colleges that offer (and even specialize) in that field. Assess you aptitude and harness your interests.
Step 2: Develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate and weed out colleges. Do you want to live close to home, or far away? Do you want a large university or a small college? What about costs? Here’s a list of common criteria to find an ideal college abroad for you:
· Distance from home
· Available majors and classes
· Makeup of the student body
· Available extracurricular activities
· Campus atmosphere
· Costs (tuition, room and board, etc.)
· Financial assistance packages/ Scholarships
· Campus resources (labs, libraries, computer access, etc.)
· Graduation rate/time
· Placement success/internship and co-op programs
· Faculty contact/classes taught by full-time doctorally qualified faculty
· Housing options (dorms, apartments, living at home)
· Realistic entry expectations (based on typical student admitted)
Step 3: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities. With at least some idea of the criteria that are important to you, begin the gathering phase. You will surely also get suggestions from family, friends, and high school teachers and guidance counsellors. You should also consider attending college fairs, where you can actually meet representatives from the schools, as well as gather important literature. Visit our website iCudB for all relevant information you need to shortlist colleges and let our experts guide you to find your ideal college abroad.
Step 4: Gather all your resources and information about each school you’re considering. If you don’t have all the information you need on a particular college, you should consider visiting the college’s Website. And most colleges offer some sort of virtual campus tour, so you can get an early taste of the look and feel of a college from your PC.
Step 5: Use the criteria from Step 2 to narrow your list of colleges to a manageable number. This number will vary widely among teens and their families, depending in part on how many you and your family can realistically visit. Most experts suggest narrowing the list to 10 or fewer, but we have known some students who had close to 20 colleges after completing this step.
Step 6: Apply to the schools that made the cut after the first five steps. How many schools should you apply to? Of course, this decision partly depends on your financial situation (since most colleges have application fees), but most teens generally apply to one or two dream or “reach” schools (where they have a small chance of getting admitted based on a realistic appraisal of admissions criteria), two to four schools where they want to go (and can expect to be accepted), and at least one “safety” school (where they are a shoo-in for admission). But you need to choose the number and type that are right for you; some people don’t apply to safety schools, and others apply to only the best schools that have made the cut from the first six steps.
Step 7: Start hitting the books or the Web to find scholarships (if you need them). While you’re waiting to hear back from the colleges you applied to, researching on making your study abroad more financially viable is a good choice.
Step 8: Make a final choice among the schools that accepted you. If you applied for financial aid, take a close look at the offers. If the school you really want to attend gave you a low aid offer, you could consider contacting the school and making a counter offer and see what happens; many schools have become more willing to negotiate. Visit http://icudb.com/ for more details.