Time to Create Your Best Fit List

This is where it starts to get really fun, because we’re going to really start looking at these specific programs and these specific schools, and narrow down your list to your very favorites.

Screenshare: Beyond the States Database Walkthrough

Okay, so this is where it starts to get really fun, because we're going to really start looking at these specific programs and these specific schools, and narrow down your list to your very favorites. So the first thing we're going to do with this is we're going to dig deep just into the program, and make sure that the courses look interesting. You know, the required courses, the optional courses, what exactly this program involves. And we're starting here, because it doesn't matter if the school has, you know, great housing or, you know, the social life that you're looking for, or the qualifications. All of those dealbreakers you have. It doesn't matter if the school has those, if the program isn't something you're really interested in. 

So let's start here. You can sort your list however you want.. I sorted by country just because. And we're going to start digging in deep. I'm going to walk you through this just so you see sort of where to look on the different websites, how to evaluate whether to keep a list or not, keep a program on your list or not. So let's get started. 

Screenshare: Anglo American University Walkthrough

We're going to start with Anglo American University. It was the Humanities program. So of course, the first thing you have to do is find the program academics. Undergraduate. Okay, School of Humanities. So this is the list based on, like I said, my daughter Ellie and her interests. And I've talked to you a little bit about that over the last few lessons. So we're looking to see if this has that sort of media focus that she's looking for. 

So program structure is always a good place to start, because you can see what courses are required. So as we go down this, these are sort of Gen Ed requirements. Because this is an American school, so they're more likely to have those. None of those are aligned with Ellie's interests. Same with these. Not really what she's looking for. History elective. So as we see, this doesn't have the focus that she was looking for. So super easy, that was like 30 seconds. And we remove that from the list, which is kind of a bummer, because I really love that school. But like I said, it doesn't matter if you love the school, if the program content is not of interest. 

Screenshare: Anglo American University Walkthrough

Okay. So next we're going to go to Corvinus University in Budapest, which actually is how you say it, though I still feel silly every time I say it the right way. Anyhow, so this was the Communication and Media Science program. And as you can see, this is one of those differences you'll find on the websites of those with good comprehensive, well-written information, and then that that is not. So this is written in a really dry way that does not give me any indication of whether or not the program is aligned with Ellie's interests. So we hit the program to see what else it tells us. And we just have this list of obligatory courses and elective courses. Now this is really good information to have. Because again, as we go through this, I can see that the majority of these are not courses that would be interesting to Ellie. We're looking for two-thirds of the courses to be interesting. There are always going to be courses that are not interesting, no matter what program you do, no matter what country, or continent, or whatever else. But you know, you want to be at least somewhat interested in at least two-thirds of them. This one doesn't have it. So we are going to take it off our list. 

Screenshare: Erasmus University Rotterdam Walkthrough

Okay, so let's go to our next one, which is Erasmus University Rotterdam. Bachelor programs. So I know it can sometimes be like, “Why is she making me watch her go through these websites?” It took me a long time to get comfortable with knowing exactly where to find this specific information about the bachelor’s. So hopefully, if nothing else, by watching me do this, you're going to see where to easily find some of this information that you need. 

So we are English. And we're full time. And it was Arts and Culture. So again, the first thing we are going to do is we are going to go to Study Program. And right down here, it's going to tell us the courses that are involved. 

And so, this is another example of how things are really different in Europe. As you can see, you're not going to be, you know, choosing like, “I want to take this this semester and this this semester.” It's really laid out for you, particularly the first year. 

So this is looking definitely more arts and culture-y than media. And again, you would go through it a little bit more than this. I've, of course, looked at this before. You can see what the classes are. Just a general description. And then again, this is an example of a good website. You can even click on to learn more about that particular class. A long description, it’s lecture, what the grades are based on, assignment and written exam. So anyway, but what I can see from this, is that that is not in Ellie's wheelhouse. Where was it? Did I already delete it from here? I must have already deleted it from there. 

Okay. So you might be thinking, “Well, geez, it's just been five minutes of that, and you've already eliminated three programs.” But remember, that's our goal here. We want to find programs that really excite you. This is what you're going to be studying for three to four years. 

Screenshare: University of Groningen Walkthrough

So let's go to Groningen. And we are going to go to the Media Studies program. Hopefully, because it says “media” in the name, it's going to be aligned with the interests. Okay. Media Studies. So let's go down to the program, which again, is where we can see each year, what's involved. 

Now, this already, the course list is looking a lot more aligned with Ellie's interests. We have media history, media platforms, media culture and society, digital culture. These are definitely more aligned with what she was looking for. So that's Year 1. You can see that Year 2, you can choose a different profile. So you know, yeah, they have the choice for students who want to study politics. That's not Ellie. So she might be interested in something like digital cultures, cultural industries. I don't even know what that is. And then, if I want to dig even deeper, we just hit that, and it's going to give us that list just like Erasmus had before. So we would click on it and it's going to give us all sorts of comprehensive information about that particular class. 

So here's what we know; we're keeping Media Studies at Groningen. Definitely keeping that one on the list. And what we're going to do after we eliminate this, we're going to go through the schools. And you know what? I'm going to pull that one up again. It's still part of this step. Ah geez, Groningen University. Okay. So we're going to go through the school at that point, and all of our dealbreakers and such that we came up with, or all of the really important things we came up with from the last video, we're going to dig deep and see if this school meets the requirements. I happen to know it meets Ellie's. And actually, even though she's a sophomore, this is a major one on our list. 

So you're going to find all that in places like this. Study in Groningen, this is likely to give you information. Yeah, 75,000 international students. So student activities, student life, accommodation. You're going to find a lot of that right here. 

Screenshare: Utrecht University Walkthrough

Okay. So let's continue with our list. Utrecht. I’m not sure if I'm saying that one right or not. Okay. So again, it's Media and Culture. And we read through the description already. It's aligned with her interests since it's talking about these different forms of media, which the Groningen one didn't even do. You know, talking about television and films. Let's see if we can find what the required courses are. So this website isn't quite as good as some of the others we were looking at. Curriculum. Okay. So this does give us, you know, the descriptions, what each course is. Definitely enough to see that this is something that's aligned with, you know — would really be interesting from a study perspective for Ellie. 

Again, I am just showing you what I'm doing here in like one minute per school. It should probably take you about 10 minutes per school, at least. You know, because we have different levels of familiarity with some of this. And also, I'm not going to, you know, bore you with sitting here in silence as I read through everything. So it shouldn't go quite this fast unless you know it's a ruling out. If you're, you know, thinking this sounds kind of interesting, go through it, really dig through it at least 10 minutes to see two-thirds of the classes, are they of interest? Does it involve more than one of your study areas, whether that's through your required classes, whether that's through — let's see, does this one have anything about internships, teaching methods. Sometimes, they'll have something about like minors or honors programs. 

So if you're looking to see –  here's honors. That's a Dutch website. So this school doesn't show that. But you know, that's where you would see, where am I able to explore my non whatever media studies type interests, if that's something you have. Or if you have more than one for — again, for this example, media-related interest, am I able to do that? So like for this one, it would, because it talks about television, it talks about film, it talks about green media, whatever that is. So it definitely includes a lot more. So again, we're keeping Utrecht for now. 

Now here's the issue. Yeah, we have two schools where the program, at least, looks really interesting. But both of them require AP courses. Now, Ellie’s planning on having the AP scores. But as you know, we need at least one school, or one program that does not require the APs because she does not currently have them. If she had four APs in hand right now, then that's fine. Neither one of those are selective enrollment. So that would be fine. If nothing else on her favorites list stayed, except for those two, fine. But if you don't have them in hand right now, then you need to have a safety school. 

Screenshare:  Beyond the States Database 

So as we can see, many of these schools on her list are in the Netherlands. And we know that the universities of applied science in the Netherlands do not have the AP requirement. 

Screenshare:  NHL Stenden Website Walkthrough

So the next step here would be to go through some of those and see if any of those are of interest. Because with those, she has the requirements. It'll be conditional based on graduating from high school, but — God help her if that doesn't happen. We will look here at the Creative Business Media Management program. Now here's something interesting. There's a three year program, and there's a four year program. So the three year program is for students who do have either the IB or the AP scores. They have the same qualifications that it takes to go to a research university. The four year program is for those who don't have the AP requirements, and the first year is more sort of introductory type courses. 

So this opens up an interesting possibility if this is one that she's interested in, because she could do the three year, if she does have the APs. If she doesn't, it could be the four year. So that's an interesting thing to look at too. Because we're looking for a safety school, we're going to look at the four year. So again, we go through. Movies, TV, music. That's a number of her different interests. Internships at MTV? Okay, fine. That's one of my interests. MTV, that's like old school. Program abroad. I mean, so these are all things that are looking good and interesting.

So let's see. Study overview. Okay. So even though these are business courses, they're very, very, very much related to media. So she was good with that. And there's also production stuff. It's all very specific. The business stuff is very specific to media type information. And you choose a specialization. Of course, my eye — I don't know about you. My eye is drawn to Bali and Thailand, where you can do your minor or your specialization. Integrated digital marketing in Bangkok. Ah, yeah! 

And I'll tell you something interesting about that. As we mentioned way back in one of the earlier lessons, Ellie has an interest in elephants ever since we've watched this documentary. Guess where elephants live? Thailand. Elephant sanctuaries are a thing in Thailand. So that's an example of sort of an outside the box way that her secondary interest would have the opportunity to be explored. 

Okay. So yes, we know that this will stay on the list. And it’s also a safety school. And it's also a school that if she has the APs or a program, or if she has the APs, it could be a three year program. 

Screenshare: Beyond the States Database

So right now — I mean, of course, we will continue to go through all of these; all of the others on her list. But here's what we have right now. We have two universities that require the APs. And then we have one that does not require the APs. So we have what she's looking for right now. Now, that said, these are really different programs. Even though they're all under Media Studies, the research universities have a much more sort of academic approach to it. It's exploring the culture, which, you know, when you read the course descriptions for those, it talks a lot more about. Whereas, the university of applied science, like we talked about earlier, they have a much more practical focus. 

So part of that, as the list is getting narrowed down and ranking, assuming that those schools meet her school dealbreakers too, you want to think about which approach is more interesting to you. Which content is more interesting to you? Do you like learning how to do something or are you more of kind of a you like to think about big ideas? There's no right or wrong answer. It's really about how you learn the best and what interests you the most. 

So, again, we would go through the programs. You're going to narrow this down before digging into the schools, before really thinking more about which type of program interests you more. And yeah, and then you'll dig in and use that spreadsheet to determine which of these meet all your dealbreakers.