Your College, Your Choice
Making a decision on which college to go to can be quite daunting but help is at hand. Read on for some tips on what to look out for when you’re considering a college or university to go to.
The main reason for the choice of university or college you want to go to must certainly be that it offers the course you want. However, with so many colleges and universities offering the same courses, you need to consider other factors as well.
The Best Tertiary Institution
Tertiary institutions have been competing against each other to fight for the highest ranking annually. However, contrary to popular belief, the best in the world may not be the best for you. Therefore it’s important to find out more about the institution with past and current students as well as lecturers to get a better picture of what’s in store.
You might want to take your personal goals into account as well as make the best out of your tertiary education. Deciding on the location of the institution is just as important as deciding what you want to study. Face it, it will be the place where you are going to spend the next few years in, all the more reason to choose a place with comfort or that will help you achieve your goal. If you want to cut down on expenses and living costs, or want to be close to your family for their support, somewhere closer to home will be ideal. For the adventurous and independent, you may prefer to venture far from home, maybe on a different continent altogether. Hence, knowing what kind of environment you are able to thrive most in helps narrow down your choices.
Entry grades for different tertiary institutions vary greatly. Students should always check to see if they have the grades to get into the institution of their choice as generally institutions do not accept students who do not have the requisite grades. While making a decision on where to go, it is advantageous to discuss your grades with teachers and counsellors as they may be able to point you to suitable options for consideration.
The Courses Behind the Titles
Courses with the same name may contain different subjects in different tertiary institutions. It is thus important to not only browse through the titles of the courses but also read in detail the areas covered in each course. Reading the prospectus and talking to current students in the course in that institution will also help to give you a much clearer picture.
Do you want a sprawling campus with world-grade sports facilities, bookshops and cafeteria, and a huge library with Internet access among others? Or would you prefer a small-scale building where you can get everywhere in five minutes including face-to-face access to your lecturers and seniors? Again, this is dependant on where you would feel most comfortable in and what sort of tertiary experience you want to take away with you.
Cost of Living
The cost of living varies tremendously from country to country, city to city. Cost of living includes basic expenses like transportation fees, food, rental and utilities among others as well as other additional entertainment expenses. Studying in major cities like Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya would comparatively be more expensive to studying in smaller towns like Klang and Nilai. Knowing your budget will help you make your choice.
Most tertiary institutions today offer both on- and off-campus accommodation to their students; priority is given to first years and those from out-of-town. The majority of students prefer to stay on campus as it eliminates the hassle of getting transport to and from campus. The student environment is also conducive for studying without being disturbed by noisy neighbours while on the hand being able to enjoy the post-exam student parties without annoying your neighbours in return. Students should note however that there is limited space in the accommodation provided by the college or university so competition for a place is rife. Therefore making early arrangements with the officer-in-charge is important to secure a place.
It is important to attend as many open days as possible. Open days are there for you to tour campus amenities, get all the information about the course of your choice as well as talk to current and past students and lecturers. The experience of an open day will not only allow you to get the feel of your surroundings but also allow you to gauge if it is the best environment for you.
Once you have narrowed down on your choice, start studying the prospectuses from tertiary institutions. It is advisable to visit these institutions during the study semester as this will give you a better knowledge of how a normal day at campus is like.
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