Saturday, March 24, 2012

The College Hunt

OK, so the dilemma of finding the right course and the right college is worst than I thought. Heck, I've been so distracted, I haven't been updating this blog for 2 weeks already!

But after weeks of researching, visiting colleges and talking to several counselors, I've decided to take up Foundations in Arts at (most likely) INTI International University.

So to those who just got their SPM results and still have NO IDEA what to do after this, here's some of the things I've learnt about choosing the right course and college:

1. Know your strengths

I think before you choose your course, its always best to get to know your strength and weaknesses when it comes to choosing the right course. What are your best subjects? What are you good at? And most importantly, what makes you happy? 

Forget about which career makes the most money at the moment, because I know for a fact that a Mak Cik who sells Nasi Lemak outside a large university can earn much more than the professor of that University. Going for further studies is to learn more about the subject you are curious about, not mainly to help you earn some extra cash. Remember Bill Gates? Exactly.

2. Take a Career Quiz

Its one of the ways to see which career is best suited for you. You can try taking this career quiz created by Taylor's College. Click here.

3. Talk to a Counselor

Just visit any college and ask for a counselor. They will talk to you about your options and career pathways which will guide you to the right course. But like I said, it'll be a huge help for them if you know what are your interests so that they can help you towards finding the right course for you.

I think its best to talk to a few counselors before you make your choice, so take your time and don't worry if you're still unsure after the first visit. Remember that you have to be absolutely sure if you don't want to waste your time and money over the wrong choice of courses.

4. Visit the Education Fair

Its a great place to find out the right college for you, plus, it helps to view your options. Once again, it helps if you already know what you want, thus narrowing down the list of potential colleges you might want to study in the future.

Also, by visiting all the colleges present, you are able to compare apple to apple. Like comparing this course to that course, and also its a good way to compare the course fees once you've visited all the booths.

5. Be VERY Sure 

Once you know what you want, make sure that its absolutely the right course for you. NEVER let anyone else waiver your thoughts, otherwise you'll be back at square one again. 

Trust me, in the beginning, I was very sure I wanted to take up Mass Communication as my course in college. But then, somebody told me to take up business because it'll get me a stable job, another suggested that I take up Psychology to understand the human brain, and then another one told me to take up A Levels or Canadian Matriculation in college because she had a wonderful time then.

Don't lose focus of what you want because only you are responsible for your happiness and future.

6. Shortlist Them

Once you've found the right course for you, its time to choose the right college. For me, I shortlisted the colleges according to the following criteria: courses, fees, location, and reputation. 

When it comes to choosing the right college, always start by making sure it offers the course you want to study. By doing that alone, you've already shortlisted the colleges by about 50%. Hey, not all colleges offers the same course.

Then, you compare the course fees. Make sure you can afford it if you're not getting a scholarship.

Its also best to consider its location. If the college is too far away from home, you may have to either live in their campus, or face travelling for hours everyday. Remember to consider the environment too. If you prefer a quiet place to focus on your studies, then studying in the heart of KL may not be the best choice for you. However, if you'd like a recreational place to study in, then go ahead and study in KL. Its all up to you.

Finally, take a look at the college's reputation by looking up at the forums and take a peek at what people has to say about this college. If it has a lot of positive reviews, then you can consider studying there. If not, go look for another college.

7. Visit the College

OK, so here's a crappy picture of me visiting INTI International University. Its a nice place, actually. Big, clean, peaceful, a great place to study. The downside to it is that I suppose its a little isolated and there's no shops or malls anywhere nearby. It does, however, have a lot of great facilities like a gym, sports center, library, computer lab, etc, etc,...

But the point of visiting your shortlisted colleges is to make sure that you are happy with the learning environment and its facilities thus, helping you in making your final decisions.


Oh! And congratulation to those who just got their SPM results. I hope you're satisfied with your grades like I am ;)

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