It’s the same thing but different – potato – pohtahto…

Where ever a student (or family) decides on higher education, the end goal is the same – to start at a college / university. The first thing to realise is that some countries use the term interchangeably. If you add Oxford or Cambridge to the mix, you are a member of a college (or Permanent Private Hall) AND the university. In other countries, going to a college may lead to then going to university, but both have post-secondary entrance. In Canada, for example, you can start at a university, then go to a college, and back again. Sometimes it’s a question of semantics, sometimes it isn’t.

The moment you consider applying to a country that isn’t where you’re currently living, a whole new world of opportunity and (possible) complexity begins. To start studying this autumn 2018, there are applications that are closed in the UK and the USA, but not all. And other countries, let’s say Switzerland are in the prime application period which closes on April 30th, except if you want to study medicine which is already closed.

For students considering their options, the key is knowing what to do when. If you’re considering the US, you should be signing up for the SAT or ACT before the end of the academic year. While not every university or college requires them, many do, and suddenly finding that you need a standardised test and haven’t taken one may limit your options. Take for example the World Bachelor in Business with a year at University of Southern California, a year at Hong Kong University of Society and Technology, and a year at Bocconi in Milan – it needs an SAT or ACT however you apply. Delft University of Technology asks you to complete a mini MOOC and sit an exam. Universities and colleges that select students will often have additional requirements to fulfil.

Careful planning, a spreadsheet of dates and tasks help keep you on task.

A final word of caution = deadline is NOT due date…

Whether you say ‘potato’ or ‘pohtahto’, you want to go to college or university. Start thinking what you’d like to do, or what country you’re interested in. Whether you know you want to study Engineering, or whether you really don’t know what you want to do, think about it. And start planning. Don’t miss deadlines!