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How to choose the right course when studying overseas

September 25, 2018

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 your course 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 choosing your course is an exciting opportunity.

At this point in your life, the world really is your playing field. But with so many options, how do you go about choosing the right course when studying overseas?

We’ve got a few ideas.

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 into 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 uni 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 bachelors degree. Students who choose to pursue medicine, on the other hand, will need four to six years to get their bachelors 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 that need assistance but 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 university’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 have considered your language level before entering any kind of university course. Talk to your education agent or university rep before making any big decisions.

Part three: the backup plan

If after all this thinking you’re 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 you’re real interests lie, in which case you can declare a concentration within your degree.

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.

Part four: How can Cohort Go help?

Whether you’re looking to pick the right university course, the right overseas student health coverage or the right international payment process – we have got you covered.

Did you know Cohort Go partner with IDP Australia? To learn more about how you can get ready for your study overseas, speak to your IDP agent or reach out to us today!

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