Whether you’re applying as an undergraduate or postgraduate student, finding the right university is important for your education, happiness, and possibly your career opportunities. There are so many universities to choose from, it can feel overwhelming trying to narrow it down. After completing my undergraduate degree and (nearly) my master’s, I’ve learned a lot about the application process and can’t deny that I’m a bit relieved I don’t have to do it again. Here are some tips on how to navigate that potentially stressful time:
1. Research, research, research!
I believe that there is a university for everyone – you just have to find it. If you know what you want to study, search for universities that offer those programs. Or, if there’s a specific city or country you want to study in, start there. You’re not expected to have all the answers right away, so doing thorough research is a great way to find out which university suits you best.
2. Leave yourself enough time
Applying to university is time consuming for so many reasons. You’ve got essays to write, recommendation letters to ask for, and sometimes, standardized testing to prepare for. While tedious, these things are all really important for your application, so make sure you start the process early enough and leave yourself lots of time to figure everything out.
3. Visit (if you can)
If it’s possible, a great way to get a better feel for a campus or program is to actually visit the university you’ve been researching. Seeing it in person and meeting your potential professors and fellow students can give you a taste of what it would be like the be a student there. If you can’t visit, it’s also a good idea to reach out to your program administrators to learn more about your program and learn more about the school.
If applying to university were easy, it wouldn’t be as rewarding when you receive your admissions letter and have the opportunity to continue your education. Start early, do you research, and ask questions! Everything works out, especially when you put the hard work in.