How to Choose a University Abroad
Seed Educational Consulting’s guide to the key factors for African Students.
To do all this, we will consider the following aspects with you:
Your academic grades at high school and/or university
Every college or university has its own academic requirements – individual programs may even have higher requirements at certain institutions. In North America, you will see lots of references to GPA (Grade Point Average) – see the infobox for more info.*
Yes, there are many scholarships available to international students, especially in the USA. We will advise you of any scholarships that we believe you may be eligible for based on your previous academic performance. But remember:
We regularly meet students (and especially parents) who are obsessed with finding an institution that is highly ranked. While we may all aspire to Harvard or MIT, such institutions are beyond most of us and there should be no shame in applying to other institutions. The higher the ranking, the more rigorous the admission requirements and the earlier you need to apply. Remember as well that most rankings focus heavily on quality and quantity of research – research begins from Master’s level.
So, for those students looking for a Bachelor’s, we would recommend considering a good teaching institution and, if you perform well, you could always apply for the Ivy League for your Master’s!
Do you really want to sit in an amphitheater with 200+ other students for the majority of your classes? We think not but at many of the big name universities, this is the reality.
Proposing institutions that offer small class sizes is a key part of the Seed ethos – we believe that you will thank us for this later!
Do you want to study in a big city or in a small college town? Do you want a small university (5000 students, say) or a large one (which could be 40,000+ students). Are you ready for the colder climates of the north or would you prefer to be in a climate more like your home country?
Only you can answer these questions but generally, we do believe that students have fewer distractions that impact on study if they opt for college towns. College towns also tend to be cheaper than large cities for the cost of living.
And finally, the cost of your studies is perhaps the biggest determining factor. In the USA especially, there are large differences in tuition fees and indeed in living costs depending on the institution and the region where that institution is located.
To help you to our best abilities, we want to understand how much your sponsor can afford to spend on your studies so we will ask you for an approximate budget of one year’s expenses – to include not only tuition but also housing, food, medical insurance, personal expenses and similar.
If you have family in your chosen country of study, we can certainly look to see if there are ways to find an institution nearby that allows you to economise on housing costs – however, we do generally feel that you will get the best experience overall by living on campus during the first year of studies at least.
Steps to Study Abroad
In this guide:
GPA – an explanation
In North America students are generally given a grade out of 4.0 – this is known as the Grade Point Average, or GPA – and it is an important factor.
Some institutions may only require a GPA of 2.0 (out of 4.0); Ivy League institutions such as Harvard are really looking for 4.0 (out of 4.0).
Each country has its own scoring system and we will help you to calculate your approximate GPA so that we can guide you to institutions where we are confident that you will be admitted.
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Seven countries, one exciting future for you!
Working with Seed Educational Consulting gives you access to 100s of degree programs across seven different countries.