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How to choose your university (if you can’t visit beforehand!)

05 May 2015 - Kaplan Content Team

Before you start on your university experience, you need to think carefully about which university is right for you. For many, this involves visiting the city and campus of the university they are interested in.

But what if you are an international student moving to study abroad? How do you choose your university if you can’t visit the institution beforehand?

If this sounds like your situation, then follow our top tips on how to work round this obstacle and pick the university that suits you best!

Look at university rankings

University rankings can be help you make a decision. Whether you are studying a specialist subject and want to know which universities rank highly in this area, or you are looking for somewhere with great graduate employment rates, there’s a ranking that can help you find the right university.

The good news is that for many of our partner universities, we've done the research for you! Visit our universities page to see where you can study a degree abroad with Kaplan, and how well these universities rank in different areas.

Request prospectuses

Download prospectusesProspectuses are useful for helping future students choose their university, and will usually include information like student testimonials, course listings, and photos of the facilities and campus.

Before you look through our partner university and college prospectuses, make a note of the features your university must have. This might be excellent sports facilities, a particular subject offering, or being close to the city centre – think about what matters to you. Remember, you could be living and studying in this new place for up to four years or more, so don’t rush your decision!

After comparing publications, take a look back at your notes – how closely do your requirements match what you have found in the prospectuses? If one university prospectus matches more requirements than another, then this might be the university that is right for you.

Use Google Street View

You can also gain a sense of what it would be like to live in the city you are considering by browsing on Google Street View. Simply find the address of the university and campus you are interested in, and explore the area on Street View.

Have a look back at the list of important things you made, and think about what truly matters to you. For example, does the university campus have lots of green space, or is it based in the city centre? Are there bus stops and train stations nearby? You can do a lot of investigating with Google Maps, so start exploring!

Meet an agent

Kaplan Pathways’ university preparation courses are designed to qualify and prepare international students for entry into one of our partner universities. If you are interested in a preparation course like this, you can arrange a meeting with an agent in your home country for information and advice about which university to choose.

Social media

Many universities have social media channels where staff and students post pictures, videos and stories for you to view and share.

If you want to get a more visual guide of what the university you are thinking about studying at is like, check to see if they have a social media presence. You can also use these channels to get any questions you may have answered by posting comments on the university’s Facebook page which university staff and alumni will be happy to answer.

If you’d like to learn more about our colleges and universities, visit us on social media!


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