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3 simple steps to choosing the right university

Confused about how to choose the university thatís right for you? Here are 3 simple steps Ė given by students of the University of Toronto. Good luck!
BY Skendha Singh |   09-05-2018

Choosing a university for further studies is an important decision. And, a life changing decision, it’s true. You can speak to your parents, friends, teachers and alumni but at the end of the day – the research and the choice must be yours. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are 3 broad factors for you to consider while choosing a university, based on insights shared by international students from the University of Toronto.

  1. Where do you want to live?
    Are you looking for a big city experience? Or a college community? The answer is important because you want to make the most of your time abroad. If you spend it negotiating with a way of life that stresses or bores you – the loss will be yours alone.

    University of Toronto for example has 3 campuses: Mississauga, St. George, and Scarborough. And no one size fits all. Vishal from Dubai, who studies at Mississauga said he chose the campus because of how green it is. Temitope from Jamaica on the other hand felt that a city experience was right for her. She studies at the St. George campus: “It feels like I have a community. But just a few steps outside and I’m in the heart of the city. You certainly don’t feel alone. You feel like you’re a part of the living system.”

    There are other facilities to consider too. Andres from Ecuador says: “I chose U of T’s Scarborough campus because I’m an athlete and I can train in the amazing facilities they have – they’re made for Olympic standards, and have an amazing education at the same place.”

    So, research your campus and see which one can best provide the experience you seek.

     
  2. How do you want to study?
    Since it is a huge investment, you must ensure that the university’s study environment allows you to learn and grow in the way that’s right for you. For this, you need to be aware of what you want. For example, Pratishtha, another U of T student, says that for her it was important to have a degree that she can use in different countries. Another student, Devaksh, dreams of becoming an investment banker, so he’s taking courses like Capital Markets, Investment Banking, and Introduction to Finance. Course content and degree recognition are therefore important criteria for international students.

    Then there is the question of faculty quality and academic opportunity. Vishal from Dubai talks about how there can be 3 professors teaching 30 students – which means a small class size. And the professors are highly qualified in their respective fields “You sit in a classroom with a research paper, and the person who wrote the paper is the professor in front of you.”

    International students also look for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary learning. Amrita from Trinidad & Tobago, who is majoring in biochemistry and neuroscience, say she chose U of T because it gives her the opportunity to explore different disciplines. She could choose from electives like philosophy and history. Temitope, who did a Religion in Film elective, says, “What I loved about my electives is that they just challenged me to really think about the world in a different way. It really just changed everything I knew and turned it upside down.”

    The question you must ask yourself is how much of a challenge are you looking for? Do you want to have single major or choose from a range of electives? How big should your class size be? Do you want a taught degree or do more research? Then look for the universities which cater to your needs.

     
  3. Which university has the best student life?
    Clubs and societies, as Vishal says, are a “great opportunity to network with different people.” Invariably, when you participate in and organize student activities, it can open many doors for you in your career.

    You can meet like-minded people, make friends for life, improve your social and organizational skills, and learn things not taught in the classroom.

    It gives your international education an edge. So, yes, think about your student life and how you can best make use of the opportunities it offers.
     

Watch the video of these students talking about their university below:

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