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Is it better to study in a small campus or a big university?

By Edvoy• Last updated: Jun 27, 2023
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Is it better to study in a small campus or a big university?

As an international student, there are so many options to consider when choosing where to study. You need to decide which country you’d like to study in, which subject you’re most interested in and what type of course you’d like to do. Once this had been decided all you need to do is find the right university that delivers all those things.

When deciding which university to attend, you should of course look at a range of criteria. What are the on-site facilities like? Is student satisfaction good? Do they have an expert faculty? And do they provide the perfect course for you? All these questions should be answered. Once you’ve done this you may find yourself with a shortlist of universities that all meet your criteria.

So how do you choose your university?

One thing a lot of students are considering when studying abroad is whether to choose a small campus or a big university. It might seem like an insignificant issue but there can be major differences between the two experiences. We examine a few here.

Small Campuses

Small campuses are attractive because with fewer students, you get a more personalised education. Student services tend to be better as they can give more time and energy to each individual student.

Plus, it can be a great feeling to know everyone on your course by name as it builds a strong sense of community and support.

Smaller class sizes (some seminar groups can be as small as 5 students) mean you get a more immerse, personalised and interactive education experience as lecturers can have more one-on-one time. Smaller campuses also tend to be more flexible and welcome student input due to the reduced scale of the institution.

Because of the reduced student population, it’s more likely that you’ll get talking with students who are on other courses, not just your own, which provides you with different points of views, different skill sets and varied interests that can help shape you as a person.

Smaller campuses tend to be cheaper than large universities so if your budget is an issue, you know a cheaper option is available.

However, if you’re looking to study something very niche and specific, you might find a small campus doesn’t have the perfect course on offer for you as they don’t need to cater to as many students. If reputation matters to you, smaller campuses don’t usually hold the same standings as larger universities.

Small campuses can also be a little out of the way of major cities and you can feel a little isolated. But if you’re not bothered about being amidst the hustle and bustle of a large city, small campuses are definitely a viable option.

Big Universities

Big universities are attractive because they offer a wealth of courses, a variety of extracurricular activities and increased resources. This means you’re more likely to find the perfect course for you, no matter how specific or focused your choice is. Big universities have a large student population which means you’re exposed to many different cultures, opinions and interests which can be enlightening and help shape you as a person.

Some students love the fact that they can lost in a large student population and prefer it to the more focused education you get in a small campus.

A lot of the universities that are ranked the highest and have the best reputations tend to be the big universities. And they often attract the most regarded faculty members who are often experts in their field.

Big universities are often located in major cities too, or at least close by, so you have a lot of amenities at your disposal and you can really get to know your new home.

However, big universities are often more expensive so if your budget is an issue it might be worth looking at smaller universities. And if you prefer more one-on-one tutoring, you might not get that with a big university as the student to professor ratio doesn’t allow for too much personalised teaching.

Some students can feel a little overwhelmed with the scale of big universities so that’s something to consider too.

Still unsure whether you should study abroad in a big university or small campus? Take our quiz below and find out which one is most suited to you and where to study.

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