Deciding On A University

For many hoping to attend University in September, it is currently both an exciting and a stressful time in terms of making decisions and applying for finance, scholarships, accommodation etc... With that in mind, I thought I'd cater today's post to those yet to decide on their firm (first) and insurance (second) choice and anyone starting to think about what they want to do at university and where they might like to go in 2017.

1. Distance: For some people, a university far away from their current home town is the most appealing option, others want a place close enough to stay at home during their university years and others want something in between; far enough for a complete change but close enough to return home when they want. It's all about finding the right situation for you.

2. Accommodation: If you decide that staying away for university is the best option for you, accommodation may be an important factor to consider. This can be based on price and budget and/or what the accommodation has to offer. Do you want a shared bathroom? Ensuite? Self catered? Catered? Studio Flat? Private housing? Within walking distance of the university? Does it have a car park? What size bed does it have? How many people share the kitchen? I could go on with things to consider but primarily it's down to you and what you would like from accommodation. If you don't care too much then it's possibly not very high on your 'things to consider when deciding which university to go to' list (what a mouthful!) but if accommodation is important to you, it's useful to look at this when you visit the university and decide whether or not it meets your requirements or wishes.

3. Campus or City?: What sort of university do you want... somewhere in a busy city centre, somewhere on a quieter campus slightly away from the inner city or somewhere in between. It's important you feel comfortable, happy and safe where you're going to being staying for three or four years and the type of university plays an important role in deciding this.

4. Local Amenities: What amenities does the university have on offer and what is there on offer nearby? Are you looking for somewhere with or near a gym? Supermarket? Cafe? Shopping Centre? Whatever it is, you can have a look online and/or visit the place for yourself to see if it meets your criteria.

5. Jobs At University: For a lot of people, university is going to put a lot more money pressures on them than previously and in order to cover the costs, as well as loans and anything their family are able to help them with, jobs are a useful and sometimes essential way of paying for everything at university. Therefore it is important to consider what support the university has in place for helping students find part time jobs, either at the university or in the area.

6. Job Prospects: Whilst enjoying the university years is important, ultimately the aim is to get the job you want at the end so it's vital to consider the percentage of students in professional work after leaving university and in particular, the percentage of students in the career type you are aiming for. For some universities and some courses, companies approach staff which is often a sign of a good course and high job prospects therefore, you may want to research the possibility of this happening if appropriate to your course.

7. Student Union: The likelihood is that the Student Union will play an important role in the social side of your university life so it's important that you are aware about and happy with what it has to offer.

8. Transport Links: Being able to use public transport can be important, particularly for people who are living at home, wanting to visit home or are working a distance away from the university and the accommodation etc. so if any of these things or alike will relate to your university life then how effective and costly the transport links are is a key factor to look at. Linking to this, if you can drive, you may want to consider whether or not you want/need to take your car and the ease and cost of keeping it nearby. The price and timetable of taxis and buses can also be an important factor as these may be essential for nightlife.

9 & 10. Does the university feel right and do you WANT to study the course at the university?: I'm combining these two factors as they link nicely and they are arguably two of the most important factors. Of course job prospects and the other factors are important things to consider but you have to study there for three or four years, so it's important you feel happy wherever you are going to be staying and that you feel like you genuinely want to go. It's an expensive part of your life so just make sure you are going to get the most out of those years by picking a place that will improve your happiness rather than spoil it. Other people around you can give you as much advice as they like but at the end of the day it's your decision to make, if the place feels right for you and makes you excited to go then it's a sure sign you are making a good decision for you.

I hope this helped a couple of people. There are a number of other things to consider and plenty of things I could have mentioned in this post but these are then ten most important things I have found when deciding which university and course to do. If you really aren't sure, the best thing to do is to research, visit plenty of open days and talk to people with experience and eventually you will make your decision.

Good luck whatever stage you are at!

Thank you for reading this post, let me know what you thought in the comments and if you enjoyed it, why not subscribe to be notified when I upload a new post?

Love, Steph x

4 comments

  1. I'm not off to uni for another two years due to the Norwegian school system, but I'm actually quite happy about that. These tips still seem very useful though! I'll keep them in mind when the time comes :)

    theamandaway.blogspot.com

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  2. Good, I'm glad you think they will be useful. :P x

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  3. These are great tips! Lots of great things to think about :)

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