What to Consider when Choosing the Right University

By Concordia University Modified on November 04, 2018

Useful tips to follow when looking for the best university for your undergraduate studies

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Choosing the right university is vital to ensure that you make the most of your undergraduate experience. Beyond program choice, there are other factors you should take into account in your quest to find the best university to undertake your Bachelor’s degree.

According to manager of student recruitment, Savvy Papayiannis, the best reason to choose an international education at Concordia is the student experience. “You’re in this big college town with other students from all over the world, people you may never have met otherwise, and they become your friends,” she says. “It just adds to your learning experience.”

To maximize your student experience, here are some factors you should consider:

1) Location, location, location
If you’re looking to travel abroad to attend university, it’s important to select a country or city that you can comfortably settle into. Remember that your university campus – and the surrounding city – will be your new home. Adjusting easily should be a main priority.

Keeping that in mind, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Will I have to learn a new language, and are there resources to help me with that? Am I comfortable adapting to a different culture or climate? Are there safe neighborhoods that are easily accessible to and from campus? Would I prefer living in a bustling cosmopolitan environment or a quieter, secluded town?

2) Budget and cost of living
Studying abroad can be costly – so plan ahead and break down your budget into these essential costs:

• Tuition – Consider the yearly cost of both tuition fees, textbooks and supplies, and how you plan on funding these. Check out Concordia University’s tuition fee calculator.
• Food – Find out how much a campus meal plan will cost you.
• Housing – Find out how much dorms at a campus residence will cost per semester.
• Transportation and travel – Transportation: will you need to take public transportation to get to and from classes? Travel: how often will you be going back home, and how (flights, buses, train)?
• Leisure – Coffees, teas, lunches and social activities all figure into this.
• Clothing – This includes climate-specific clothing such as getting a warm winter jacket and boots if you’re considering a city with a cooler winter season.

3) A good return on investment
Although ranking and international recognition are not always important factors to influence your decision, they do indicate how far your degree can take you after you graduate, which can help you determine whether or not your degree will be a worthy investment in the long-run.

Ask yourself: How does my program of choice at a given university rank and why? What is the employment rate of graduates of this university? Is the program accredited (e.g. for Engineering or Business programs)?

Taking these questions into account, a program that has international bearing will provide a good return for your investment, in terms of quality of education and student life experience.

4) Guidance and support
Access to academic guidance and support should factor into your decision for the best university. A university that has the resources put in place to advise you on admissions or academic choices is a university that cares about the well-being of its students.

5) A breadth of student services
As you spend at least three long years completing your Bachelor’s degree, you’ll quickly realize the value of having access to student services to meet each of your diverse needs.

Concordia has many of these resources, including the Housing and Job Bank for help with housing and job-related inquiries. Or for tips on time management, students can meet with a Learning Specialist at the Time Management Clinic.

Curious to know what Concordia University has to offer you? Check out our Undergraduate admissions page for more information.