University is a great experience as it’s your first step into adulthood. But finding the right university to go to can be a challenge. With so many programs and schools out there, how do you know which one is the right one for you? There are many things to consider which is why it can become overwhelming when looking at postgraduate programs. But, don’t worry, here’s your guide to finding the best university for you.
Look at the program
Here’s the thing, though Harvard is a well-known school, perhaps their science department isn’t as reputable as New York State University. You shouldn’t necessarily focus on the university, rather, focus on the program you’d like to take. While one school may be well-known for the business program, they may not be great in Arts. So, focus on the program you’re wishing to take since the quality varies from each school. You can use websites to find various postgraduate programs and courses.
Talk to previous students
Though you can look online and see everything you need to know about a program and school, you still don’t have the real-life experience of someone who went there. Try to connect with individuals who’ve taken the graduate program you’re interested in and see how the experience went for them. You may find out that the academic supervisors weren’t supportive or that the program was actually outstanding. But you don’t know truly until you ask.
The environment matters
You’re going to be dedicating a large chunk of your time at the institution, thus, the environment really matters. You need to choose a university which not only can you picture yourself at, but also feel comfortable in. The physical environment of the university is really important. Are the resources such as the VoIP phone system easily accessible? Are you willing to spend a majority of your time on campus? Does the campus and city make you feel like home?
A postgraduate degree is slightly different than an undergrad as you’re going to be spending more one-on-one time with your academic supervisor and colleagues. With that being said, you want the academic staff to be resourceful, supportive, and influential. These are the people you’ll be surrounded by on a daily basis. Though your program may have the best research lab in the country, it won’t matter unless you have the support around you.
If you’re supported by a scholarship, that’s great and of course, the budget won’t be as much of a concern to you. However, you do want to make sure that your budget will be able to provide you with a comfortable living throughout your education. If you’re receiving funding for your postgraduate, make sure that the allowance will be able to support your monthly expenses so you won’t need to worry about paying your bills. If you’re short at the end of the month, either evaluate your expenses or try to take up a teaching assistant job within the university for extra cash.