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What should I study?

It is the single most important decision you will make – one that will affect your success while you study, and your future career. And sometimes it is far from obvious. You want to study overseas, experience the world, and gain a qualification that will help you achieve your dreams. But with an overwhelming choice of subjects to choose from, where do you start?

In this article, we look at how you can make sure you choose the right subjects for your international study, and the nine key things you need to think about when deciding what, and where, to study. It will save you time, money, and study stress – otherwise, you might find yourself staring at your final exam paper, realising you have spent four years studying something you have absolutely no interest in!

What are you interested in, and why?

It’s the first question your student counsellor or education agent should ask you. Think before you answer: don’t just pick the course that your family want you to do, the one that was your easiest subject at school, or whatever your best friend wants to study.

You need to know exactly what you want from your overseas study experience. And you need to know what subjects excite you. When you study abroad, you will need to be self-motivated to succeed. And you will only be able to write compelling essays, make interesting presentations, and complete excellent practical work, if that subject is also your passion.

The ‘why?’ part of that question is also very important. Often it relates to your career choice. You may be interested in studying medicine because you want to be a doctor. That’s straightforward. But what if you want to be a writer? The answer to ‘why?’ may determine whether you should study a humanities degree (literature), a media degree (journalism) or a business degree (copywriter).

Some students have very specific interests – you may want to specialise in anthropology, the study of human society and cultures. Why? Your answer will determine whether research or career outcomes are more important to you – and what specialisation within that subject is most important to you.

Still not sure? We’ll be sending out subject guides each month, so you can find out more about each course type available. Make sure you’ve registered with StudyLink and told us what you’re interested in – we’ll send you exactly what you’re looking for. Later this month, look out for our complete guide to business and MBA programs.

Nine criteria for choosing your course and university

You need to decide what you want to study before you start considering where you want to go. It will make your choice of university so much easier. You then need to consider which of the following factors are most important to you – based on your answer to ‘why?’

Rank the following criteria in order of importance to you, from 1 to 9.

Reputation and expertise: the best university for you may not rank highly overall – but it may rank very highly in your area of specialisation, or it may have a faculty member who is the world expert in your subject.

Rankings and quality assurance: look at what the different rankings are based on – research, student experience, or graduate outcomes? Decide what is most important to you. Always make sure the institution is accredited by the local education authority.

Entry standards and qualifications: entry standards often reflect the supply and demand of places more than the actual quality of the course – but you need to make sure you qualify for admission with your current academic results and English language level.

Research facilities: what library resources are available? Are the labs and technical resources suitable for your subject?

Graduate prospects: where do graduates work? What are industry links like? Is an internship part of the course?

Study style: does that course asses your marks through exams, assignments, presentations, or practical work? Are you confident in those areas?

Social life: experiencing a new culture, making friends and being part of the international student community will affect how you enjoy your international study experience.

Support and services: who will help you find somewhere to live, what is transport and safety like, is there any language support?

Cost of study: how much is tuition? What is the cost of living like? Do you qualify for any scholarships or financial support?

Where can you find this information?

Right here. You can search and compare thousands of courses online at StudyLink. Talk with a StudyLink student counsellor (it’s free) about your plans. Once you have narrowed your choices:

Visit the university websites for detailed information on the nine criteria above – look at the student mix, research and teaching profiles for the faculty you’re interested in,

Register for an online chat with the university, through StudyLink Events,

Talk to friends and family members who have studied in that country, even if it’s not at that university or college,

Visit the relevant education body website, such as the British Council, IDP Australia or Education USA.

For more information on how you can make the best international study choices, your first step is to talk with one of our student counsellors.

What subjects excite you? Which do you think is more important – what you study, or where you study? Tell us in the comments box below.

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sorry i cant understand what its mean this

你好; 其实我现在最难的则是英文。它使我无法向前步入我想往的大学。很多大学曾多次邀我打电话,我很惨亏,我根本无法交流。从总体来说,还是喜欢研究工作。想问一下;进修是否能上岗工作?因为,时常总爱考虑问题,总爱问为什么?在网上很多人认为我是一位“风流人物”说实话,他们的认为是错误的。

I am very much into science subjects.. it gives excitement to me..

I'm a kind of student who love to learn new things..Every subjects make sense to me to learn learn it..But i'm more to accounting,bussiness studies,craft & arts..But i absolutely need a teacher to teach me well..The surroundings would be okey with me..Please,send me a reply of how to get there??=)

i ve got the point , but i am not able to get the course what i need , i would like to do masters in automobile engineering , so please give me details about this course

I am a student of agriculture,soil science in M.S degree.I will gratuate 2 month later from Iran,shiraz university.I would like to countinue my studing for PH.D.what shuld I do?

well, thankx 4 helping wid ur guide.
i want to pursue masters in tourism. in australia.
wats its scope nd is it beneficial

thank for the information you have given to me. I need it more in order to make me understand and know more about study abroad.Maybe you can give me info about scholarships in Australia for next year. I hope I can join to study there.thank

i am a kind of student who wants to study more about new things in my life specially eager to study and experienced life in onther country. thx for the information and hopefully this will help me to know more and how to access to australia. i am very interested at information technology area and would like to study in australia. so, please send to me an up date information of australian scholarships intensively in order to know how to get there next year. thx for your kind cooperation

pharmacology excites me.can i get reuired information regarding the p.g. course in pharmacology in U.K.

i'm a student of commerce nd i love to do planning to do BBA from australi....please tell me how to access australai visa and how to get addmission in university?

I want to study more in regards with my field which is Information technology. I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Information technology and presently working as College Instructor here in the Philippines in a certain technical Vocational School. I'm handling computer subjects here. that's why I am planning to improve my skills and knowledge with my field. I am hoping for your positive response....

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am registered pharmacist & practecing (Marketing side) my own country in reputed company but i would like to higher study in austrlia like the subjects MBA, Pharmacology etc. Pl inform me how to proced to go to australia? I ve no complete IELTS>

Mahbub, Bangladesh

I am postgraduate in mathematics & want to pursue Ph.D in same from some of u.s universities what should i do

I am postgraduate in mathematics & want to pursue Ph.D in same from some of u.s universities what should i do

Pls. send me about the all of the university of the near the ABERDIN CITY OF THE UK.(FOR POSTGRADUATE MBA)

sir i want do phd in biotechnology or biochemistry so plz send reply about this study.ielts compulsory for study in canada

hi i want to study in mbbs in canada on scholarship . im pakistani so any information plz send

Well, I've been asking myself what interest me for a long time and frankly..I still don't quite know. I thought about the stuff I love to do and there's quite a lot and I don't even know what I want to be in the future. It's all very confusing.

I have done MBA, I want to do a short course in human resourse mgt. or any mgt. subject which are the courses available ?

hi i h'v completed my degree,and i would like to do master in australia how quickly and posible can i get it , some details please

HI! I read about your info and der r lots of things a want to do like, i want to creat, invent, i want to be a medical practisioner, i like politics etc... I'm a graduate of B.S.Nursing here in d Philippines. I'm wondering if you could give me an example question for me to answer so you could tell me d best course or a list courses for me to choose...tnx!!

i am graduating in political science first year. and m interested in topics related to the subject esp. international relations. to me where i study will be as important as what i study.can i get the list of universities excelling in this topic? and can u pliz inform about any scholarships or financial support??

i am a student who have recently passed his college.i want tao admit in australia for undergraduatate bba what should i do and ur cost

Your blog deals with a similiar issues as that my blog has. You should check out my blog by using my URL.

i am interested to do master in human right practice in one of the university in london. so how should i proceed further.

sir ,
i completed my mechanical engineering course from a reputed unversity in india , i like to do masters in automobile engineering , so i kindly need the help from u
and wanted to know the exact qualification and what ever

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Get an Accredited College Degree In 5 Days without ever stepping foot into a college classroom or even doing coursework.No Need to Take Admission Exams, No Need To Study, Receive a College Degree for What You Already Know! Earn an associate, bachelor's, master's or even a doctorate degree without opening a single book… Even if you struggled or barely made it out of high school. For more details visit us at .

All the above the points specified are correct. Selecting the career is important because which is directly linked to the course you select and the college or university you get into.
Above all this there should be a clear picture about the career which you want to get into.

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