Selecting the Perfect University: Online Virtual Tours or Education Expos? (The University Bazaar Blog Series)

Selecting the Perfect University

Does selecting a university ever get easier? I remember being overwhelmed by all the decisions to make when the process began.  Where can I find a scholarship? How far away from home do I want to go? Can I afford this university? I can afford this one, but what to do if it does not have the degree program I want?

So.Many.Questions.

I have just made it back from The News Education Expo in Lahore and have more than a couple of observations to share. The crowds, mostly teenagers and twenty-somethings with their families, were busy browsing the stalls for the Perfect University. Theoretically, this sounds like a straight-forward affair; you walk up to the university representative, get all your questions answered and receive a complimentary pen, as well.

In reality, it was absolute chaos in the basement of Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel. If you haven’t been to the PC Hotel, the basement consists of a series of banquet halls opening into a narrow main hall.  Various universities and colleges had set up shop throughout and were closely packed together; differentiating between the representatives became a chore!  Trying to start a conversation or ask a question was challenging as the overworked representatives tried their hardest to answer serious queries from the impatient crowd.

What I witnessed today is a University Bazaar where competing educational institutions hawk degrees and dreams to uninformed students and their loved ones. There is little to be gained but a handful of shiny brochures.

Q. Is there any value in attending such Educational Expos? 

A.  Only if you know what kind of educational experience you are shopping for and are prepared to be patient. 

The truth is that these events are nothing more than easy revenue-makers for the organisers.  Once the stalls are booked, little else is taken care of; this is evident by the sloppy arrangements and the criss-cross of exposed wiring over the carpets.  Not only do the students suffer from the poor organisation,but so do the educational institutions who regularly spend their marketing budgets on them.

Online Virtual Tours or Education Expos?

So, if we strike off education expos from our list when searching for the perfect university, what is the next best option?

With social media platforms getting easier to navigate by the day, it makes sense to turn to the internet when conducting any kind of serious research. I would strongly suggest opting for online virtual tours of the universities and colleges you are considering at the moment.

Pre-recorded tours, complete with audio, guide website visitors through the campus; this is extremely important when the colleges you are considering are in far-off locations, like the United States or  the United Kingdom.   Rather than chatting it up with a disinterested staff member at an overcrowded expo, try your hand at a informational webinar. These web-based seminars allow prospective students from across the globe to log-on and take part in question-and-answer sessions with the university’s administration and admissions team – for free! What better way to understand the culture but by having a conversation?

Take my word – set aside some time for an old-fashioned Google search and a list of questions. You are bound to narrow down the options to find your Perfect University, with the help of simple technology at your fingertips! 

This is the first post in the The University Bazaar Blog Series by Catalyst Woman.

Catalyst Woman Podcast 3: Digitally Detoxed

Episode #3 of the Catalyst Woman podcast talks about different ways the ‘Net is coaxing us to go…off-line. Ironic, no?  Listen in.


———————-
Show Notes:

Morning Pages: The Artist’s Way| Julia Cameron Live

Link: juliacameronlive.com/the-artists-way/

Top 10 Ideas List: James Altucher

Link: www.jamesaltucher.com/2012/10/how-to…-idea-machine/

Catalyst Woman’s Digital Detox:

Link: thecatalystwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/0…sruption/

Thanks for Listening!

Music in the Intro: VooDoo Funk – The Apostles – Oshi Onwu

Link: Voodoo-funk – Oshi-onwu

Comments and Suggestions are most welcome :talktocatalystwoman@gmail.com

P.S. Sorry for my Kermit-the-Frog-like voice, battling a cold.

The Un-Cool Disruption

Sometimes it feels like all those apps and gadgets meant to simplify one’s life actually cause more distractions. Case in point, the ten to twenty Google Play app updates that pop up daily. Even if they are ticked for automatic updating, they manage to disrupt one’s flow of work or a conversation.

I am considering a digital detox this December, partly so I can start getting my podcasts out each Wednesday!

I shall spend two hours, from 8 to 10 pm, every evening this week unplugged from the ‘net.  Will share how it went next Monday.

All these companies that start as technological companies become antitechnological in character. Whether the world changes or not might vary from company to company, but if it turns out that these antitechnology companies are going to be good investments, that’s quite bad for our society.