University library

Deciding on a course to study or the university to apply to can be difficult. Even when you scale through this hurdle, you still have to overcome several other challenges before you successfully finish your degree. These challenges include adapting to the university setting, creating an effective study plan that works for you, overcoming difficult lecturers and so on. Don’t face these challenges in silence. Simply #Ask1Plify and we will guide you on how to overcome them. That’s why we are here.

In today’s #Ask1Plify, we have three questions that we will address:

When should I start applying to universities?

This is a very important issue that gets overlooked by a lot of students. Universities have an admission cycle and if you miss the cycle, you’ll have to apply the year after. First things first, when do you want to get into university? Once you know this, you can then begin your research and set the ball rolling. This is what we mean. If you want to get into a university in the UK in 2015 for example, you will discover that applications open nine months before the admission date and close at least four months before it (there are some exceptions). This means that to get in next year, you have to apply before May 2015. As an international student, it is advisable to apply even earlier. The same applies with universities in Nigeria. The bottom line is to start early. Do not leave anything to the last minute.

How do I know if the university is right for me?

This is a difficult question because there is no one size fits all answer. But we will say this, do a thorough research of the university before applying and make sure it is somewhere you will be comfortable in for the duration of your course. Visit the university, talk to students who are already there and ask questions. What qualities must the university you get into have? For example, when I was looking for a university to do my MSc, the main criteria aside from a track record of academic excellence, was a serene and conducive environment for learning. So when I discovered Cranfield School of Management, it was a perfect match. It had all the qualities I wanted. After visiting the campus and speaking to several students who were studying there, I knew it was where I wanted to do my MSc. Use the same approach too.

I’ve decided I want to study abroad, what should I do next?

That’s great. The next thing you need to do is to begin your research. Decide on the course you want to study and search for the university that will give you the best value. Don’t limit yourself to universities in popular countries like the UK and America. Use league tables to help you narrow your research. League tables rank the best schools around the world for every course. We recommend the Times Higher Education League Table. Choose a pool of three to five universities, find out their requirements and begin the application process. Use 1Plify to make that process easier for you. Another thing you must also do is to find out about the visa requirements of the country you want to go to. These can be quite stringent and frustrating. Don’t let it hinder you from beginning your course after you have successfully taken all the necessary steps.

Still have more questions about higher education and studying abroad? Send them to us by email – You can also tweet your questions to us or post them on our Facebook page. Let’s make your journey to higher education as easy as possible for you.