Feb 6, 2018

Studying abroad: five steps in your decision-making-process

Once you decided to study abroad, you need to select a study program. Don’t you know where to begin? I am an expert by experience and here to give you some advice about the decision making process and choosing the right field of study. Here are five essential steps which might come in handy when you are about the make a decision where and what to study.

1) Choose the right destination

How do you decide what the best destination is for you? Think about the place you always wanted to visit. Could you live here for a while? Or is this place only good for a visit? Then think of a country that might have similar customs, traditions and environment. Alternatively, maybe there is a country near your dream place so you could visit it frequently? Pick an university with wide exchange opportunities and save your dream destination for your exchange period! Is the language not a barrier? And is the climate ok for you? Think of a country where you would feel comfortable and where you can stay for a while.

2) Collect information

The next step: research, research and research! Every country has a different education system. Therefore, it is important to dig into into this system in the country of your preference. What is their structure? How many exam sessions per year are there? How do they rate? What are general rules at universities? Collect data about the best universities in a country or a particular city. Would you like to study at an university or an university of applied sciences? What is required for application to this university? What are the tuition fees? Drill down an official university website to know answers on these questions. What is more, most institutions have agents in various countries. These agents have personal contacts with the universities and can be very helpful. They provide you information in your own language and they can also arrange a lot of formal things for you. It makes the process of applying easier for you. Personally, I used this opportunity when I was looking for diverse fields of studies and this organization was very helpful!

3) Choose a study program

Now you know where you would like to go, you come the most crucial moment: selecting the right program. Think carefully of what you are passionate about. Remember your hobbies and pleasurable past times. Also, think about your skills. What do you enjoy doing? And where lay your interests? Are you interested in arts? Maybe business field? Or engineering sphere? What about logistics? If you don’t have a clear picture of who you want to be yet, don’t worry. Then, just read information about various study fields and you will definitely find something that will stick in your memory. And next to that, check if there are enough career opportunities in the future? A small tip: do not choose only one program. You should always have a second plan. Life happens and it’s essential to have the second option if something unexpected occurs.

4) Talk to people

Once you decided what the main focus of your field of studies is, I recommend you to collect some information from other people. Talk to people who already have an experience in study programs you selected. Ask your friends, parents and acquaintances. They know you very well and can give you some suggestions and advice. Another great option I would suggest is asking for advice from students of your preferred university. They already have some experience and opinion about their study program and will definitely share this with you. Most international universities have student ambassadors for each program. They are always happy to help prospective students and they will share things with you that are not mentioned online. Usually, you can find ambassadors on university websites.

5) Listen to your heart

Finally, you will need to decide for yourself. You are responsible for your own life and future career. Selecting the perfect study abroad is of vital importance since this decision may result on the rest of your life. Once your decision feels good, then you should go for it!

Hopefully this overview of 5 steps in selecting a perfect study program will help you. Everyone who will go abroad will go through this decision making process.

And are you thinking of studying in the Netherlands? Download this whitepaper: The Dutch Education System Explained!

The Dutch Education System explained: studying abroad in the Netherlands.

 

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