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Researching University: Considerations Beyond Academics

Researching University: Considerations Beyond Academics

The Branksome Hall Asia University Counselors

When looking into university options, many students begin with academics. Does the university offer my major? Are the university’s academic programs well-ranked? Does the university have opportunities to double major or take courses outside of my discipline? Of course, we encourage students to seriously consider the academic opportunities at their future university! However, the university experience does go beyond the classroom. Below are three additional factors that might influence a university search:


  1. Setting
    Is the university located in a city or rural area? Some students may find themselves overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of big city life, while others crave the diverse cultural opportunities a city provides. Rural campuses may be too secluded for some students, while others enjoy the close-knit community provided on small campuses. Weather can be a factor as well; is the school located in an area that is sunny and warm all year? Or should students prepare to enjoy a snowy winter? Ultimately, it's important that you feel comfortable at your university. 


  1. International Student Services and Social Opportunities
    Most universities offer services just for international students. These services can range from writing centers, English language assistance, academic success workshops, buddy or mentor programs, and more. When researching a university, students might want to consider the overall international student population, international cultural events that the school hosts, and opportunities to engage with students from their home country and around the world. A university might, for example, have a Korean Students Association or other social groups for different nationalities or affiliations. 


  1. Career Services Office
    Finally, consider researching a university’s career services. Many universities will offer guidance on resumes, finding internships, connecting current students with alumni, and more. Career Services Offices may also be able to help students with co-op opportunities; co-ops are chances for students to earn college credit while participating in part-time or full-time employment, balancing classroom theory with hands-on experience. 

Of course, there are many factors beyond these that can impact a university decision! The Branksome Hall Asia University Counselors can help students research universities and determine what opportunities are most important for them. Every student’s needs and interests will be unique. You can always speak to your university counselor about any aspect of the college planning process. 


Take care, 

The Branksome Hall Asia University Counselors 


Kelley Christman –

Young Jae Chang –

Kaitlyn Waller –