Picking a course to go on and study after school can feel like an overwhelmingly difficult decision with seemingly no right answer.
Find the right course, at the right university or college, and you will be inspired to succeed. If you end up choosing a course for reasons other than being really, genuinely interested in the content, then you’re unlikely to enjoy it, or get the best results. Because the secret to happiness is being able to love whatever it is you do in life.
Although some people seem confident they know what they want to do, it's okay to be unsure about what your chosen career path will be. With a little research and introspection you can choose a course that will make you happy.
We have put together a few options you can make use of, to ensure you really get the most out of your degree, in terms of both enjoyment and academic success.
List the fields of study that interest you, and come up with a list of courses you would consider studying based on these interests. Add the topics that you were most interested in during school as well as jobs that you envied others for.
There are really two parts to this. Where is the best country to specialise in this subject area? Maybe it’s a country with plenty of internship and graduate work opportunities in that industry. Or a city that has access to specific resources. If you’re interested in marine biology, why not head straight to the world’s largest coral reef in Australia and learn right at the source?
It's also a good idea to ask yourself: where in the world would you love to live for a few years? This is an opportunity to learn a new language and a new culture, make new friends, and experience a different way of life. And if you're happy in your life, you'll be happy in your study.
As much as you can, go to university open days and university fairs. Talking to people who teach the subject and students already on the course can give you much more of a feel for what it’s really like, the kind of topics covered, and the style of teaching and studying.
The internet, newspapers, television and people around you are the best sources of information. Check online about the courses you are interested in and find out about the career prospects and the other info. Speak to people who are in your interested profession and find out what it is to choose your future career. People who have completed university courses can give you an insight from a student’s perspective - they can tell you the pros and cons.
While you are researching, you’ll come up with all kinds of different criteria to judge a university or course by. So make a shortlist of the top three features you’re looking for. These could be school ranking or prestige, research facilities, practical experience and internships, cost of tuition, student support services, safety, social life, chance to travel… there are so many variables, and what’s right for you may be completely wrong for someone else.
To be certain that you will be committed to your studies, find out the duration of your course. Taking double-degrees, full time or part-time depends on your personal choice. Ensure that you will be able to balance your other priorities along with education. Study flexibility varies amongst universities.
Where better than on a course you love to meet like minded people who will not only go on to become some of your closest friends but will provide you with a web of contacts in a field that you have a lot of interest in. With the paramount importance of networking for future success, this is an invaluable environment to be in.
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