At this point in your life, the world really is your playing field. But with so many options, how do you choose the right course when planning to study overseas?
Did you know that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime? That’s nearly one-third of your life. That’s why choosing the right course of study is such a big decision – it will likely dictate what you’ll do for a big chunk of your future. It can sound like a lot of pressure, but with the right research, this should be an exciting step in your student journey.
We’ve got a few ideas to assist you in choosing the right course.
Part one: The broad considerations
Before you can get into the details of what to consider for your course, you need to have a think about your general goals and the things you want.
1. Ask yourself where your passion lies
Is there a particular subject that excites you more than others? Maybe you love the feeling of solving an extra difficult maths question or perhaps writing short stories is more up your alley. Whatever it is, have a long think about what courses seem to fuel your passion. This should help guide you in the direction of a university course that will get you excited to go to class every day!
2. Consider the job market
Once you’ve pinpointed your passion, take a step back and add a practical element to your thought process. Take a look at the job prospects in your top three preferred courses of study. Is there a bustling market in your home city? Could you stay in the city of your overseas study and get a good job? International study is a big investment, so you want to make sure your degree will pay off in the long run.
Part two: The granular details
Once you have an idea of what you want to study and how viable it really is, it’s time to consider some of the more in-depth details, such as:
1. What are the financial obligations of this course?
Not all courses require the same level of financial obligation. For example, most communications majors only need three years to obtain their bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, students who choose to pursue medicine will need four to six years to get their bachelor’s and another three to five years of postgraduate studies. Consider how much money you have to dedicate to your studies. Scholarships are available for students who need assistance, but they often don’t cover the entirety of your tuition.
2. Are there any academic requirements?
Some courses require that you take a certain number of specified classes before you enter into the course program. This information can be easily found online, so do a quick search on your institution’s website to learn what academic requirements are expected for each program.
3. What is the language level required for the course?
Lots of students studying overseas are travelling to a country with a different language than their home country. It’s important to consider your language level before entering any kind of course. Talk to your education agent or institution representative before making any big decisions.
Part three: The back-up plan
If you’ve considered all this and you are still not 100 per cent sure what course is right for you, you can always try a generalist degree. These courses allow you to explore your options without committing to a single focus in your first year of school.
After taking some standard lectures and classes, you’ll likely get a better idea of where your real interests lie, in which case you can declare a concentration within your degree. Taking more general classes at the start of your course can help you pinpoint the next steps in your academic journey.
For example, you might choose to study communications as a broad degree. This will open the door to courses focusing on a range of areas from marketing to linguistics, news writing and reporting. If you find you are particularly enjoying the news elements, you may want to declare a major in journalism.
While picking a course is important, don’t feel stressed about declaring anything right away. Remember, generalist degrees are available to ensure you have time to think.