Considering which University is best for you?
We know that researching universities can be daunting. We hope these top tips will help you to focus on what is important. You may already have a good idea of the subject you want to study, or need help choosing a course. Either way – you’ll also need to decide WHERE you want to study it.
When researching universities, it is worth checking out university rankings and league tables. But do they tell the whole story?
Choosing a university is a big thing, and course aside, there are lots of different elements that go into the decision. Whether you choose a campus or city university, you’ll be spending years of your life there. For example, you might want to know what the location’s like...what it’s really like. You’ll want to know that the university you choose will help you achieve your career ambitions. You may have some specific support services in mind. For these things, and many more, rankings alone won’t give you the complete picture.
The best way to truly get a feel for the university is to visit, either by attending an open day or campus tour. But there are lots of other ways to help you shortlist too. We’ve put together some of the best ways to narrow down your choices.
5 Questions To Ask Yourself When RESEARCHING UNIVERSITIES
1. Will I be happy living here?
Consider the university’s location and whether it'll make you happy. For example, do you prefer to live in a bustling city, or prefer a bit of peace and quiet? Are you looking for a combination of both - a student city and plenty of outdoor space? Will you have access to the sports facilities you need? Are you interested in live music, theatre or the arts?
Universities typically either have a campus or city setup, and this should come into the equation as well. A campus university like UEA has everything you need within walking distance; you’ll find excellent facilities, study areas and the students union in close proximity. A city university has these too, but they’re usually spread out and located among shops, offices and restaurants. Campus universities are known for having a stronger student community feel but the latter will put you right at the centre of the city.
At UEA, we like to think we have the best of both. Our large, green campus is located on the edge of the vibrant city of Norwich. So you’ll have everything you need in one place and benefit from the high street, entertainment and history being within easy reach too.
Explore UEA Life
Campus or city, nothing beats attending an Open Day, either on campus or online. This way, you’ll get a very real sense of what it’s like to live and study in a particular place. You can even get personal insights and perspectives by asking staff and students questions.
2. Where will I live?
First-year students will typically be guaranteed a place in halls, but plenty of people commute from home or live off campus too. So, how do you choose?
Look into the spaces you could be calling home. If you’re planning to live in the halls of residence, consider the proximity to facilities like the lecture theatres, library and Students’ Union. Think about whether you want (or need) an en-suite bathroom or are happy to save some money and share a bathroom. Think about group sizes and room types. By doing your research, you can start to get excited about living at university. There’s often no guarantee you’ll get your first choice, so having several preferences and options will put you in a good position to make the most of your living situation.
UEA offers a range of high-quality, affordable rooms for students. Whether you’re on campus or in the city, our 360 degree videos will give you an insight into what to expect.
3. What's the story with money?
For many, university is a big step to independence. It may well be the first time you’re fully responsible for your own budgeting. Beyond accommodation costs, consider what you’ll be spending money on throughout your time at university — things like food, transport, books, fun! Some locations will be pricier than others, so bear that in mind when you’re looking around. Don’t be daunted though...spending, saving and being savvy with your money is all part of the uni experience!
Remember — there’s help available too. Universities, including UEA, offer a range of bursaries and scholarships. Students that don’t check these out can miss out on a tremendous amount of financial support. It’s always good to visit dedicated website pages or even call universities up to see whether you’re eligible. Then, apply for all that you qualify for.
Be sure to check out all the potential financial support you could get from UEA. For example, our bright spark scholarship is offered to students who do well in school or college and take on a pre-university research project, such as the EPQ. You’ll also find scholarships are available for those who excel in music, sport and more.
4. I'll get a degree... and what else?
There’s so much more to your time at university than seminars, lecture halls and time in the library. There’s friendships, socials, sporting endeavours, the arts. Pretty much every university has a sea of societies to get involved in, from the traditional to the down-right kooky. There’s ample opportunity to express yourself and get the most from your uni experience, be it in or beyond your comfort zone.
With hundreds of clubs and societies, a live music venue and amazing sports facilities – there really is something for everyone to get involved with at UEA. And with the buzzing student city of Norwich on your step, you’ll also have access to a wide range of bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, entertainment venues and much more.
Explore campus life and find out more about student life in Norwich, you’ll soon see why our students love to call UEA home.
5. What support services are available?
Everybody wants to get the most out of their university experience. Adequate student support is crucial to this. When you’re browsing — and especially when you’re down to two or three university options — do have a look at what their support structures are like. Not everybody will hit bumps in the road or feel stressed during their studies, but it’s always good to know there’s help there should you need it.
UEA offers extensive support through Student Services; here, students can discuss any concerns in a confidential, professional and non-judgemental environment. Jane Amos, UEA’s Head of Student Services, says that “nearly three quarters of undergraduates accessed our student support service at some point during their degree.”
Our experienced advisers can provide support on wellbeing, finance, study support, disability and long-term health conditions, living on and off campus and more. Whatever is on your mind, or whatever it is you’re going through — we are here.
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