HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT DEGREE – LIESA (THE NETHERLANDS)
Whether you are a high school student, someone doing their bachelor or a master student, there comes a point when you have to decide what you want to do in the next (academic) year. Maybe you will just continue with your program, or maybe it’s time to find your next degree. I am currently looking for pursuing a second master’s degree, and today I will give you some tips to find a perfect degree.
- Take your time and start early
You won’t be able to find a degree that you like in one day. Realistically, it takes from a couple of weeks to several months to figure out exactly what you want to do. So, just start early. Moreover, you might need to start even earlier then you assumed, as different universities have different deadlines, which may or may not depend on your nationality. This brings me to my next advice.
Photo by: Dreamtime
- Where to go
Do you want to stay in Estonia or do you want to pursue a degree abroad? If you chose the latter, you might have to do some more research. For the lazy bums out there this might not sound like much fun, but trust your local foreign student, studying abroad is definitely worth it. Moreover, at this point I would advise you just to narrow it down to some region you would be interested in studying in. After all, you would, ideally speaking, chose a program and then the university in a specific country.
p.s. keep in mind that for most English degrees abroad you need a language test such as a TOEFL or an IELTS. Don’t just randomly take either one of them, as some universities only accept one of these, but keep in mind that you might have to do one. Also understand that studying abroad may be more expensive than you’re used to, so do some research on expected expenses and see if you can afford to move abroad.
- Choosing a degree
This is probably the most difficult part, as it requires you to make some actual decisions. At first just compile a list of topics and/or degree’s you might be interested in. If you, same as me, like to compare programs across countries mastersportal.eu might be for you (it also works for bachelors and PhDs). Just fill in what you are interested in and where, and it will give you a list of degrees related to it.
Then, exclude everything that you cannot do, e.g. science might sound interesting to me, however I do not have a background in it so they will not take it. Most universities, if not all, will indicate which students can apply for which program. Now that the list of degrees you’re interested in got shorter, start checking the courses of the programs you’re interested in. Some will definitely seem more interesting than others, scrap all the ones that don’t seem very interesting. While you are checking out the websites, also check if you fulfil all requirements and when the deadlines are.
- ‘Student for a Day’ day and thinking time
At this point, I probably have 3-4ish options left, and might go to a ‘Student for a Day’ day. While I tend to like them, as they give a good idea of what you can expect, they may not be available to you. So instead, take a couple of days to just think about your options. Maybe some will seem more interesting than others, maybe they all seem just as interesting.
Photo by: Lethbridge College
Finally, apply to the degree or degrees you are interested in. It’s fine if you want to apply to several degrees, after all you might not get into all options you applied for. Just don’t go too crazy and apply for 10 degrees.
Good luck with applications and I hope that you will all get into a perfect programs.
Liesa Aitton (The Netherlands)
International Relations and Regional Studies