University: How I Chose Where to Go

The decision about where to go to university is a pretty important one. This time last year, I was spending much of my time browsing the internet and deciding which one would be the best one for me. It was an extremely long process and a very difficult one, but now, I've finally got it.

I just wanted to write a little blog post that details some of the things that helped me to decided where I wanted to study and some of the advice that I have for anyone who is going through the same thing.

1) The Course

The first thing you need to know when looking into universities is which course are you planning on doing. For me, at this point, I had almost no idea about what I wanted to study so I looked into all the ones that interested me the most. I looked at politics, international relations, nursing, liberal arts, psychology etc. - a real mix - just to see what was out there. But what I found was that when I started looking at these courses, the modules that students study at different universities are massively different! For example, if you want to do geography, some universities will offer human geography but not physical geography so it's important to know what you're after. If you can get this far, you can already narrow down your search considerably.

2) University Websites + UCAS + Uni Frog

I spent so much time on UCAS and Uni Frog looking at which universities offered the courses I was interested in. Once I'd decided on studying French, I then had to decide which courses I could apply for based on my grades. UCAS is a massively helpful tool for this as you can click on all the different universities that do your course and you can read about them all without having to open a million different tabs.
Also, the university websites themselves are usually really helpful. They'll tell you the entry requirements, the modules, whether you'll get a year abroad, what to include in your personal statement etc. etc. They're definitely worth having a look at.

3) Open Days

As I was driving down to the ULIP taster day in London, I said to my dad, "I'm not sure why we're going to this, I really don't want to study in Paris," which is funny because I got home at the end of the day and I just knew that ULIP was where I wanted to study. As soon as I sat down to listen to the talks they were doing, it just felt like the place for me to be.
What I'm trying to say is that you can only find out so much from the Internet. Before I went to see ULIP, I was set on studying at Birmingham. But now, I'd still like to go to Birmingham but I know that ULIP is where I would personally prefer to be. The lecturers were really interesting, the people were more like me - all the things that you can't know by looking at websites. So, if I could recommend you do one thing, it's go and have a look around the universities before you make a decision!

I hope this has been helpful!
E x

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