Study abroad: where to apply?

18.09.2014 | | Katariina Nuotio

Around mid-point of your studies at HELBUS most of you face an important decision: Where should you apply to complete your Bachelor’s? The world is your oyster, and the options around the world are baffling enough to confuse even a seasoned university administrator. Most of you wish to continue your studies to earn a Bachelor’s degree, and eventually a Master’s degree. How to understand where you should apply and when?

Consider the following aspects, and try to assess how important those aspects are to you.

1. Where would you like to study? Would you like to go somewhere exotic? Would you like to go to England, the most popular destination for Finns going abroad to study? Do you like the easy-going beer-loving Danes better, or the chic atmosphere around the Eiffel tower? Are work, family, or financial reasons keeping you back in Finland? Where would you like to establish your professional network, and perhaps find your first job? 

shutterstock_1086702082. How quickly would you want to complete your Bachelor’s? At HELBUS our pace of academic progress is incredibly fast; would you like to continue that way, or take more time to complete the rest of your studies? Are you already planning your path to a Master’s degree? Our quickest route is European University, where you will finish your studies in September. If you wish to take your time, your experience may prove satisfactory in many other ways. In the US and in many universities in Australia Bachelor’s degrees take four years to complete, which often means two additional years of study.

3. When would you like to continue your studies? Is it important for you to continue straight away after you earn your Higher National Diploma in December? Would you like to work for 6 months before continuing elsewhere? In the UK there are many more options for September starts, and the number of options with January starts varies each year.

4. What would you like to study? Are you passionate about a particular subject area? At HELBUS you get a very good understanding of the main areas of business studies: marketing, management, HR, finance and accounting. Would you rather complete a general BA in business and specialise only when you choose your Master’s program? Explore course contents on university web pages: even general BA in business -degrees have very different course requirements.

5. What is important to you? A welcoming atmosphere and nurturing student support? An international student body, where you can quickly make friends? Good employment prospects and career services? Academic performance of the university in terms of research? University league tables in the UK offer criteria with which you can sort league tables. See for example The Complete University Guide: the university that ranks best in Student Satisfaction ranks 53rd overall in business studies (Buckingham).

6. What are your financial means? Tuition fees in Australia or the US are higher than those in the UK, in general. The tuition fees in Scotland are low, but your studies generally will take 2 more years after earning your HND at HELBUS, which means that you need to budget more for accommodation costs. In the UK, many universities charge £9,000 per year, which is the same level as the most affordable US scholarship programs are. In the UK, you can also find more affordable programs in less-recognised universities offering “validated programs” of other universities.

As a general recommendation, I would say the following: keep your options open for as long as possible and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to several universities and make a final decision when you have a few offers. Don’t waste time applying to places where you do NOT want to go.

This is the time to be creative and engage in some divergent thinking! Think out of the box, use the knowledge and self-understanding you gain during the “Personal and Professional Development” course unit and come up with as many alternatives as you can. I will be there to support you along the way!

September 18, 2014


Katariina Nuotio


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