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International student’s tips for picking a uni

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Having decided to leave home to pursue a degree in a foreign land was a huge decision to make. You have the abundance of world class institutions scattered across the globe to pick from – how do you decide where you want to spend the most prominent years of your life? If only it was as easy as playing ‘spin the globe’.

Coming from Singapore, I know all too well what this feels like and I can safely say that the decision I made 3 years ago has given me an all-rounded experience as an undergraduate. So here are some factors you might consider while applying to universities to guarantee the greatest memories of your life:

Location and Culture

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One of the best parts of being an international student is the whole new culture you get to immerse yourself in. After all, this is going to be your new home where you get to have a taste of what it’s like to be a grown-up living away from home. So if there’s already a city you’ve always wanted to live in that boasts a great uni for what you’re interested in, and known for it’s friendly people – go for it!

Subject Specialty and Module Structure

While many unis might offer the same or variations of a similar course, the programme structure might vary. Some might offer a 4-year programme with placement years included or even opportunities for overseas expeditions. Do your research into the specific modules to make sure it’s something you are looking for and if the course structure is to your liking as well.

International Student Support

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Student Services, King’s Gate

Make sure that the support system that the uni provides for international students is plenty. The most unexpected problems can crop up at any moment and being away from familiar culture and family can make it difficult. Especially with visa complications or even needing help applying for jobs as an international student. Lucky for me, Newcastle Uni has been ranked 5th in the UK and 18th in the world for international student satisfaction and I can honestly say the support services here are second to none.

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