University education is the first and the most important step of your career journey. With the enormous range of options available, it is crucial for students to carefully evaluate each aspect of university education before embarking on this life changing journey. Choosing the right university to study abroad is a complicated decision. Our guide below will help you make a more relevant choice by following these simple tips before deciding on which universities to apply for.
Five tips to help you find the right university in Ireland
Location is one of the most important factors that affect your choice of a university. Before selecting a university and calling it home for the next few years, a student must take into consideration location based factors such as:
- The city in which the university is located
- Facilities and infrastructure of the surrounding areas
- Connectivity with airport and other major cities
- Distance of the university from the city centre
- Places of social interest in the surrounding areas
- Availability of student accommodation
- General weather conditions of the region
All these factors can have a direct or indirect impact on the overall quality of life and the study abroad experience as an international student.
Consulting university rankings is a great way to find out about the teaching and research quality of universities. University league tables provide yearly rankings for overall university performance based on several parameters such as:
- Teaching Quality
- Research Output
- Student Staff Ratio
- Graduate Employability
- Student Satisfaction
Universities are also ranked for specific subjects which means students can shortlist the best university options for their subject of interest. Although rankings can be an important consideration reflecting upon the university’s reputation, students should be careful with how they interpret these rankings. For instance a student looking for an undergraduate course may be more interested in finding universities that rank better on factors such as student satisfaction, student staff ratio and teaching quality rather than research output or graduate employability.
3. Employer Reputation and Work Opportunities
Enhanced employability and industry readiness are the major learning outcomes sought by university students. Universities differ in the extent of industry exposure provided to their students. Universities with strong industry affiliations can provide better opportunities for internships, work placements and prepare students for future job markets. A university's reputation with employers helps to add value to their CV and improves their graduate recruitment opportunities. Students can choose universities which offer industry relevant courses with:
- Curriculum developed in consultation with industry leaders
- Guest lectures from industry experts
- Internship opportunities on industry projects
- Industrial Scholarships
- Access to corporate and technology parks for research
4. Course Content
Course content varies between universities and a student must choose a university taking into account the course offerings within their subject area. A university that allows you the freedom to experiment with different subjects and choose subjects with focus on areas of your interest are instrumental in helping you move towards your future career goals. Finding out how the course content is delivered, taught and assessed helps to make a good choice while deciding on a university. While you could choose a university for its ranking or location, it may not offer a programme in your area of interest or may not rank well in that particular subject area. Therefore it is important to choose wisely.
5. Campus Facilities
A student’s life is more than just essays and lectures which means students should look at the bigger picture beyond the classrooms. What are the facilities offered on campus? Are there student societies, social clubs and sports of interest to keep you occupied away from your studies? What kind of accommodation and residence halls are available for international students? Are there well placed student support systems? The extracurricular activities offered by the university are very important to consider as university life is just about studying.
Study in Ireland
Universities in Ireland are a perfect combination of world class teaching, cutting edge research, state-of-the-art campus facilities, industry-led courses, top rankings and strong employer reputation. If you wish to study abroad then Ireland can be a great option. Book a free consultation with SI-Ireland to learn more about Irish universities, courses and applications.