How I chose the right university for me
Choosing the right university for you is an important decision that needs careful consideration. Here is how I chose the right university for me.
I have considered my academic and career goals. What do I want to study? What are my long-term dreams? Understanding your goals will help you find a university that offers programmes aligned with your interests. I chose to study education because I was interested in how and why people develop into different people. I hadn’t overthought about my future career, but I wanted to learn about an area that interested me.
I started researching universities that offered programmes in my desired field. I looked for reputable universities that demonstrated strength in my area of interest; I also referred to the Times Higher Education Ranking to narrow down the universities I wanted to attend.
Location and environment
I considered the location and environment best suited to me. Do I want a bustling city or a quiet town? I thought about various factors, including climate, culture and lifestyle. I also considered whether I would prefer a campus university or a university in a more urban environment. I wanted a student city that was also urban, so I chose Manchester rather than a university in the countryside.
Size and campus culture
I also considered the university’s size and the campus’s culture. I was torn between a university with a diverse student body and a wealth of resources versus a smaller university with a close-knit community. I concluded that the environment for academic and social growth often happens at a large university.
Visit the campus
This is my personal recommendation but, if possible, visit the campus of the university you are considering. Visiting campus will give you a first-hand experience of the atmosphere, facilities and campus life. Talk to current students, attend classes and lectures and walk around the campus to get a feel for whether it is a place where you can flourish.
It is also essential to seek advice and guidance. I consulted my teachers, family and friends. Of course, it is not advisable to be swayed by suggestions, but listening is essential as they may have valuable perspectives and information that can help in decision-making.
Remember that choosing a university is a personal decision; what suits one person may not suit another. Consider your needs, interests and aspirations carefully and trust your instincts when making your final decision.
I am so glad I chose The University of Manchester. It’s less urban than London but offers a good balance between playing and learning. And because there are so many faculties, I often met friends from faculties I didn’t know existed. It’s a feature of being at The University of Manchester, a large university where you can meet people and expand your knowledge. Also, because there are so many international students, I can learn different languages and cultures, as if I were studying in many other countries while being in the UK. I also remember vividly how smooth the academic transition from high school to university was, with much support in my academic studies. The University of Manchester is the best university for me. I hope that readers of this blog find the best university for themselves. I would be pleased if it is Manchester!
Written by Akiko, current undergraduate Education student at The University of Manchester.