Before finalizing a college to study abroad, there is a need to have an intense research so that one makes the right decision. Here are some tips you must consider while researching colleges.
• Courses and majors offered by a college: Invest time in looking at the different kinds of majors the college offers. You should check if the way in which your intended major is taught at this college interests you or not. The typical class size at the college and how it impacts learning in the classroom should be taken care of while researching for college. Take a look at core requirements aka core curriculum, the combination of majors and minors and opportunities to gain practical exposure by means of study abroad or student exchange programmes. For those who are more conscientious, going on www.coursera.org and viewing college courses which have captured your fancy lets you get an inkling of the kind of learning you can look forward to at that college.
• Alumnus of a college: This allows you to look at what students from a college have gone on to achieve with the skill set and knowledge acquired from the college. Alumni give you a glimpse into the ethos a college fosters and allows you to judge which college resonates more with you and your career goals. Getting in touch with alumnus and asking for information about their experience at the college is a great way to collect information and find your perfect fit.
• Faculty: More often than not, the faculty of a college is distinguished and knowledgeable, so glancing through credentials will get you nowhere. You need to go on student blogs and research about student-teacher interaction at the college, find out about the research projects the professors are pursuing and see what resonates with you.
• The Nitty-Gritties: Under this heading you can classify location (more important than you had initially thought), proximity to a city/town, and weather conditions. For example, if you are the kind of person who wants sandy beaches and sunshine the year round and a cocoon of pulsating city life, UCLA would be the ideal college for you. On the other hand, if you are a fan of snow, mountaineering and a contained campus far away from the bustling city, look at Middlebury College or even Vassar College.
Also read: Guide to apply to Buisness schools abroad
• Campus life: Look up for the activities and extracurriculars offered by the clubs and societies of the college. Do not be afraid to explore here. You will have complete freedom to choose the activities that interest you and unlimited opportunity for participation. Maybe you want to try your hand at archery or you have always been passionate about a variety of social causes. Look for ways and means to realize these whacky and eccentric interests. College is your oyster. Do not forget that diversity and size of the student body are important factors as well. For an easy way to get statistics about a college look up 'Class Profile'. It is important information laid out in a nutshell for you.
• The prospective Nerdy Side: There are a multitude of colleges that offer research opportunities to undergraduates and you could be one of the lucky few to get published before you can legally drink. UC Berkeley is one of the colleges known for its unending research opportunities. Internships could be a great way to get a well rounded exposure to the hard life that's going to follow after college. Work experience will also help you decide if your chosen field is right for you.
Also read: How to choose a right MBA college abroad?