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How to choose the right university for higher education

Khaleej Times 2019-08-13 17:02:46

Choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life is never an easy decision. I remember my father telling me that he just had to choose between being a businessman, a doctor or an engineer, which he was happy with. He never had all the options / fields of study which we have today. End of the day, all we want to do is to achieve our dreams and be successful in our own right. From deciding the right career path for yourself to choosing the appropriate higher-education institute to help you achieve your dreams; the whole experience can feel very intimidating. Here is my two-step summary which might help!

Step 1: What to study?

It is natural to feel hesitant when you take the first step, it usually is the most difficult one. That being said, once you decide the career path you wish to follow, the rest is not as tough as it seems. One regret a lot of people have is not choosing what they enjoy. This does not mean that you simply go all out and don't think practically. It is always important to find a balance, in this case, the balance has to be between our passion and the tools we have at our disposal to realize our dreams! Maybe you can think about what you enjoy doing every day and whether you can see yourself doing that in the future and getting paid for it?

Once you choose what you want to do, try going to big companies established in that industry and see the type of jobs they are posting. Check out their eligibility criteria and see if it is something that you can pursue once you go to university.

Explore the course outlines for the type of degree you choose to go for, see whether the subjects are aligned with your personal goals and are relevant to your industry. Perhaps you want to diversify what you want to study and not keep all your eggs in one basket. Universities do offer certain courses which allow you to have a Major and a Minor as part of your degree. You should still speak to the university representative to find out more before diving headfirst and regretting your decision later.

Step 2: Where to study?

The next step is deciding the institute which will take you one step closing to achieving your dreams. With universities from countries like France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, etc. having representation at the KT UniExpo Dubai 2019, you can get confused quite easily. That being said, the first filter to apply is to look for those universities which meet your chosen career path. Just remember that every university has a different style of teaching, which means that maybe the university that your best friend prefers will not be useful to you in the long-run. Never be afraid to talk about this with the university representatives at an education fair - this is the best time to do so!

Try and also ask yourself where do you want to study? Do you have a certain lifestyle which you are not willing to compromise on? Do you prefer being closer to a rural area or an urban one? How close to home do you want to stay? One of the biggest questions is the weather; what is the weather in the country in which you are planning to study?

Let's be honest, sometimes we choose to study abroad even though the same course is available in our home country simply because we want to enrich our experience by learning about the new culture, for example, or to widen our professional and global network while getting access to better quality of education. At times we even have to consider our pockets, and there is no shame in that really, especially when you have certain countries which provide excellent quality education at a cost which amounts to close to nothing - just remember to do your homework thoroughly before diving headfirst when you hear the word free!

Important things to remember

> It is good practice to research on all the universities you have narrowed down. If you're feeling confused, come to the UniExpo and see the universities present there, pick up your phone and run a search on Google really quick. It's that simple. People always appreciate someone proactive and who does his or her homework before a meeting.

> Check out the accommodation. Universities offer different types of accommodation catering to students coming from diverse backgrounds. However, never assume that the university that you want to study in has accommodation that meets all your needs. It never hurts to drop them an e-mail and get in touch with the accommodation team to get more information on this.

> Always find out what other opportunities and facilities does your future university offer! There are different societies / clubs which help you do more than just kill time, you can network and make new friends, at the same time get to know what other students are studying and see if it interests you.

> If you're planning on studying abroad, make sure you read up on the country's student visa policy and check whether there are any additional or special requirements which might apply to you. To register for KT UniExpo Dubai, log on to https://www.ktuniexpo.com/Visit/register_now

caspar@khaleejtimes.com

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