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Choosing a school is the first big decision most young people have to make. If you are smart and don’t want to waste time or money, you’ll probably dedicate a lot of attention to this problem. It’s good if you already know what you want to do in the future. However, most people don’t. Here are a couple of criteria to help you choose the school that suits you best.
While location, duration, and tuition are all important, if you choose the subject you are uncomfortable with, nothing will help. If you are unsure about what you want to do, apply to liberal arts schools. There, you can take various courses and see what you actually like and are good at. If you are confident in your choice of future occupation, apply to schools with the most successful graduates working in your field of interest.
If you are planning to study abroad, you need to consider the languages spoken in this country. If you are not fluent enough, you will have serious problems understanding professors and completing assignments. Even if you are applying to a program taught entirely in English, think about the demands of everyday life. Will you be happy knowing all you can do in cafes and stores is point at things and gesticulate?
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You usually need four years to get a BA. Do you have the time? Are you ready to dedicate this large chunk of your youth to studying? If you want to become a lawyer or doctor, it will probably take you up to nine years. Some people have spent the time only to realize that they have wasted it. Many people nowadays get degrees in one subject and work in a completely different field afterwards. It turned out that all they did for four years was learning useless facts and spending money.
If you do not have a specific school in mind, choosing an area in which to study can become a dilemma. On the one hand, city areas are more fun and offer more cultural opportunities. On the other hand, rural areas are considerably calmer and it is easy to focus on your courses and extracurricular activities. Most students prefer to stick to whatever circumstances they grew up in, not to add to the changes they will have already experienced.
We’d all like to live in a perfect world where the amount of money one has does not matter. However, the question of costs is probably the most important for the majority of recent high-school graduates. Of course, almost anyone can get a student loan, but then you will be stuck with debilitating debt till the rest of your life. This can be helped by finding a part-time job, getting grants and scholarships and filing for financial aid.
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Consider these factors when choosing a school, and you will not have to regret your choice!