Study Abroad: Selection of university

Shilpi came to me with her parents after having firmly decided to study abroad. The family had fixed a budget and was now looking at the application process with some excitement. Their key question was how to select the Universities? With thousands of options available it can be daunting to decide where to finally put in that application.

Your course

An appropriate course for you should probably be one of the non-negotiables on your list of selecting a University. If you are particularly desirous of studying a course then the University should offer the option or specialization to you. Being stuck with a course you don’t have an interest in can lead to loss of interest. Thus no matter how highly ranked a University is it must admit you into the course of your choice.


Even though rankings should never be the only criteria, rankings can be one of the criteria that you could use for selecting the university you will finally go to study. Some leading ranking websites are:

QS Top Universities
Times Higher Education
Shanghai Ranking.

Cost and duration of course

Discuss with your family and make a budget before applying. There is not much point in spending time and money in applying to a University that you may not be able to afford to study with. Don’t just go by what your friends tell you. Do primary research yourself on the University websites. The fees and living expenses for international students are provided on all University websites. Choose the ones that are within your budget.

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Shivani Manchanda
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Shivani Manchanda

Shivani Manchanda, a post-graduate in Counselling from the USA, is a warm and vibrant counsellor. Her expertise lies in counselling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. She is an enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience.