Every year tens of thousands of students begin university. For many it is the most exciting time of their lives and their first chance to live independently. Some students know exactly where they want to study, others find it a very stressful time.
It is your money
Students are now required to pay for their university level education. Although this would initial seem to be just an extra financial burden, it actually means that students are now in a position to choose exactly what type of course they want to study and demand a high level of service. Universities will now have to invest in better facilities and attempt to capture prospective students as any other business would. For those students that pick the right university for their study, it is a time of experience and awakening. Unfortunately, many students make the wrong decision which can prove costly both financially and academically.
Choose a place to live
As well as attending university, you are going to live in your new chosen location for up to three years. In addition, many students decide to stay on after their studies to find work. You need to make sure that that city suits the lifestyle that you want to lead. Top of the list of attractions for students is the night-life. However, once that novelty has worn off, you may begin to value other things such as:
Good transport links – enabling you to get home to mum and dad easily.
Good part time work opportunities – with a little extra coming in you will not have to rely on your student loan.
Affordable accommodation – some cities are very expensive to live in which may push decent housing out of your price range.
Go where your chosen industry is
Although many students attend university to expand their knowledge in their chosen field, the expectation for many is that there is a higher chance of employment afterwards. It is really important that you give yourself a head start by using university as a way of moving nearer to the centre of employment in your chosen field. Try to choose a university in city that has a thriving industry in your chosen field, increasing the chance of employment after the course and potential work experience while you are on it.
Pick a university with good student support
Surviving on your own for the first time can be daunting. You will have to cope with bills, housemates, shopping, cooking as well as juggling a busy social, work and study schedule. Most students get through university without a problem. However, occasionally issues can occur that the student feels unable to deal with alone. Although parents can step in, they are often far away. In such situations, student support services become invaluable. As well as educational needs, student support services can help with a range of issues such as health, housing and finance. Student support is a key component in educational success, so try to choose an institution like Solent University that has a good reputation for student support.
Aron Hazeldine is a lecturer and college admissions tutor who writes for a number of education based blogs and websites. He has vast experience in advising students on their university applications.