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How to choose the right course when studying abroad

So you have decided to study in Australia, but have you chosen the right course for you? While many overseas students already have a general idea of the field they want to enter, selecting the right course can still be a burden.

Course preparation plays a huge role in the satisfaction of international students. While research in 2014 suggested that 87% of international students were satisfied with their study experiences in Australia, withdrawal of students in the first year is usually because they are unhappy with their chosen course. 

Considering that every course and every university is different, and that students have their individual preferences, how can they make a wise decision when it comes to choosing the right course for them? Here are five things you should consider when choosing the right course:

  • Your strengths and goals. Do a self-assessment to know your interests and skills. By doing this, you are in a better position to figure out what courses will suit you. You can start by choosing a field that you are interested in, and from there, think of a course that will match your skills, values and personality type. For instance, if you are interested in the health care industry, courses on offer include nursing, midwifery, physical therapy, aged care and pathology.
  • Research. Create a list of courses to explore and do a research for each. You can source information on the internet, or through online programs and prospectuses offered by different institutions in Australia, or even from your family and friends. Take the time to visit college websites to explore not only the subjects included in your course but also to find out the content of each module per subject.
  • Employment opportunities. There is little point in doing a course unless it will give you a job in the future. If changing your career path is the reason for studying, it is crucial that you take into consideration the kind of career you wish to pursue. 
  • "Time out”. Taking a break can be a good option however make sure you comply with your visa conditions if you choose to do this. You can use this break to travel, gain some work experience, or figure out what the right career is for you. This allows you to have some time to weigh up your options and gain some insight from friends who have also started their studies or begun working. 
  • The rules. Selecting the right course is often a daunting decision: it involves investing a lot of money, time and effort, and because you are on a student visa, changing your decision will not be easy. Make sure you know the visa conditions and requirements for international students in Australia before you decide on a course.

If in doubt, you can speak with one of our student services offices.

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