Choosing Your Next Destination Effective Decision Making Strategies

Updated: Apr 6

Congrats! You have been accepted to Uni (or another study program)! The gruel of applying and completing the essays, submitting the paperwork and of course sitting entrance exams is now over. Time has passed and acceptance letters, financial packages and perhaps a few rejection emails have populated you inbox. Like many you probably have a few options to consider and now the challenge is making this decision.

Which University do I want to attend (and wants me to attend) for the next three to five years?

This decision is not one to take lightly as it will have impact on your future and what doors open and which may be more of a challenge. We at cMyQual are here to assist you- you can book in a 1:1 coaching session to talk through your options. We also offer the following matrix to help you make your decision. Key is that YOU make the decision best for YOU and not what peers or others may say or think. The best decision is based on your own needs and assessments. I once turned down the most elite private school for my daughter and opted for a low income state school in an impoverished community using this decision making tool. She ultimately got the best education with lots of opportunities and experiences with a diverse range of students and staff that will forever positively impact her. Other parents thought I was crazy to turn down the elite school; ultimately I decided on what I thought to be best for her and not what others might say.

Using this tool below is how I went about making this decision and past educational/career decisions for myself. To begin, it is important to identify your needs:

What are YOUR priorities? Wishes? Needs to be Successful?

1) Write out your list: urban/rural, public transportation, near to airport/train station, small community, large city, clubs/sports,...

2) Next create a table of facts about the universities that you have been accepted to. Below is an example of what you might include.

Finally create a second table to look at the facts about each of the universities and weigh the positives and negatives for you- this is very personal as what works as a positive for one person may not be for another. For example, a student may be interested in attending a university in a more rural setting and someone else may want to be in an urban setting. Or the academic program is more flexible and interdisciplinary in one institution whereas a person may learn specific skills aligned to a specific career in another. Below is an example of what to include:

The questions below are intended to help you evaluate each aspect of a decision.

For choosing the best Uni factors to consider include:

  1. What is the academic program? How much access does my level i.e. undergrad have to experts in the field? Who teaches the course? How many students are in a class? Are their big lectures divided by smaller study groups? Are there only small study groups? What are my options for taking courses I am interested in? Or do I have to take specific courses each year for my major? Who are the leading professors and do we share similar interests?

  2. What is my career projection? Within my chosen major what is the job outlook for graduates? How strong is the alumni association?

  3. Accommodation options: as a first year student in a new university it is important to know what are the boarding options available- is there a student dorm? Meals provided? Could I live in an apartment? How is this arranged? Does the university offer housing support?

  4. Location- is my university near a major city? Or is it what makes the town? Do I want to be in a more urban setting or rural one? How accessible is it to travel to my university- airport, railway station, metro…?

  5. Costs- what is the anticipated costs of studying at that university for the specific number of years? Think about the tuition, living costs and housing. Plus you may need to factor in transportation costs either commuting or the term time flights there and back.

Once you have completed this inventory of your options take a day or two off and then return to your lists. Thinking about what motivates you and which decision option has the most positives will surface helping you decide.

Don’t delay using this system. Personally I have used it for many of my life decisions in relation to schooling, career prospects and major life decisions. @cmyqual is here to support you and happy to talk through these options. Schedule your consultation today!

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