by Rolf Strom-Olsen, Academic Director of Humanities Studies at IE School of Arts & Humanities
Students considering where to pursue their university education have a greater choice than ever and there are an increasing number of international universities that cater for students looking to study abroad.
Here is a list of ten things to consider in helping them decide where to apply:
The friendships you form in university will stay with you – and indeed help shape – your entire life. So what kind of network are you looking for? International universities typically have very diverse student bodies, which means that students end up making friends from all over the place. Take as an example the experience of my former student, Claudio. When I ran into him last semester and asked him how his summer had been, he replied casually that he had spent his time visiting his friends from university. As it turned out, this meant Claudio had spent his summer in Greece, the UK, France, Switzerland and Morocco, as well as hosting a bunch of his friends who came to visit him in his native Italy. International universities foster global friendships, even if you are not a globetrotting couch-surfer like Claudio!
If you are considering an international school, check the list of faculty to make sure the diversity of the staff reflects the diversity of the student body. Where major national universities will have a majority of professors educated within the local tradition, international schools tend to draw from people all over the world. At my university, for instance, our students just in their first year are taught by professors from Spain, Canada, Finland, the US, Pakistan, Germany, Argentina and France, among other places. This means that you can expect to benefit from a broad range of academic backgrounds (as well as accents!) in the classroom.
3. Class environment
International universities tend to be smaller and follow an Anglo-American model of pedagogy. This means smaller classrooms and a much more interactive learning environment. Students at major national institutions typically (although not always) end up in large lecture theatres and have only limited interactions with most of their professors at least during their first two years of study. International universities look much more like small liberal arts colleges, where class size is restricted and professors are encouraged to be accessible and part of campus life outside the classroom.
Continue reading in QS Top Universities