How to Choose a University Program as an International Student Coming to Canada
Six simple questions to help guide you to the right school and program when you're studying abroad.
Choosing a university program can be difficult, but don't worry! With some research, you can find the best program for you.
1. What interests you?
Your interests are one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a university program. Studying subjects that interest you makes life in university more enjoyable. If you're having trouble picking only one interest, don't worry! There are ways to combine your interests at university.
2. Do you want to graduate with work experience?
Choosing a program with co-op or internships is another factor to consider. If you want to gain work experience, explore possible careers, and don't mind additional time added to your degree, this can be a great option for you. Waterloo's co-op program is an amazing way to learn how to successfully interview for jobs, see how your degree relates to real-life problems, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience, and make money!
3. How do you want to learn?
Like high school, university tends to take on a traditional style of learning where you absorb information through lectures, interact with your peers when participating in group projects, and assess your knowledge through tests, quizzes, and assignments.
Additionally, most universities have hands-on learning opportunities included in their programs, such as labs, field trips, student design teams, study abroad terms, co-ops and internships, studio courses, and more. This type of learning can help you apply what you learn in class and understand concepts better!
When researching universities, look for these learning opportunities. This will allow you to filter your list of potential programs based on whether they offer a more traditional classroom style of learning.
4. What are your high school grades?
Be prepared by researching programs in advance, as your grades and the courses you've taken will affect the number of programs available to you.
Universities with the same program can have different high school grade and course requirements. Do some research beforehand so that you can work toward achieving the grades needed for admission!
5. What kind of degree do you want?
Your passions and interests play a large role in finding the degree that's best for you. However, it's still important to do further research. Programs with the same name can differ between universities.
For example, some universities offer computer science as a Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS), or Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath). One way to tell which degree is better for you is by checking the required courses for the programs, which will tell you what you'll learn during your university degree!
6. What other factors should you consider when choosing a university?
There are other factors such as location, cost, and reputation that you may want to consider when choosing a program. Here are some of the non-academic factors to consider when choosing a university.
One last tip — it might be useful to keep track of your research in a chart. This way you can easily compare your notes on each program. There is no single answer that will work for everyone. It's based on your own preferences!
With all this new knowledge and research, you'll know you're making the best decision for you!
Still unsure? Discover what to do when you can't decide on a program!