Finding meaning in your studies: how do you make the right choice?

With so many choices on the Higher Education market today, structural changes in our society and the reality of the professional world facing future professionals, it's important to choose your studies carefully. Which studies will reveal the talents and potential of each student?

Paul dreams of going to Oxford, Mathilde’s father wants his daughter to study at Yale, Sophie’s grandfather studied at HEC Paris… Every student is different: their academic background, the beliefs of their entourage, the specialities they choose, their individuality: whether they are sporty or city dwellers, academic or more practical, there is a university to suit every profile.

That’s why it’s a good idea to identify your strengths, motivations, and ambitions, so that you can select the right field of study and the right universities. It can take some time to sort through the many options available internationally. Making the right choice will help you focus your efforts and avoid unpleasant surprises.

It can sometimes be a good idea to seek the advice of a specialist to help you select the universities best suited to your profile, and then support you in putting together an impactful application.

The right university for the right student!

Going to school wasn’t a choice, and some students find it hard to imagine what’s next. How do you choose the right options, the ones that will open the most doors?

If I want to become a Doctor, an Engineer or go to Art School, the choices are fairly simple. You must choose the scientific or artistic stream. For everyone else, the choice isn’t always so clear-cut.

Should one take the most reputed or difficult options to demonstrate their ambition? Or options that will give you the best marks? These are important questions that will have an impact on future options.

Examples of prerequisites for the main areas of study

Mathematics is often the sinews of war. Taking Maths higher (Spécialité Math in France or Math Higher Level for the IB) is a prerequisite for many Bachelors: Management, Business, Economics, Finance, Engineering, Data Analytics, etc. For Engineering, Physics/Chemistry or Biology is essential in addition to Maths. Medical studies require Biology and Chemistry, Law or International Relations favour subjects such as History or Geopolitics, Psychology often requires you to have taken Biology as a higher…

An in-depth analysis of the requirements of each university and the student’s course of study are essential to ensure that you have a chance of being accepted.

In addition to the choice of subjects, there are also the grades. The more selective the university, the higher the scores required.

It’s important to make an ambitious but realistic selection of universities, tailored to the student’s profile. While every student dreams of going to Harvard, Oxford or LSE, not every student has the academic profile to do so.

You need to apply to universities that you are likely to get into. Sometimes this means mixing fields of study to maximise your chances of getting offers that meet their prerequisites.

Rest assured, there is a university for every academic profile! That’s why EDUCOM studies each application in depth and helps students to highlight their career path, to ensure that they have a realistic strategy, a strong application and the maximum number of offers. And if your child doesn’t end up at Yale, there are plenty of options for studying in English abroad: the UK, Canada and the USA, of course, but also Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland and many BBAs in France. All of which can open the door to an international career.

Case studies

Victoria is a good student at a very good Parisian lycée. Her marks stand around 14/20 and she has taken Economics and Geopolitics higher (with Maths as an optional extra).

This doesn’t allow her to apply to ‘good’ British universities, which often require a minimum of 16/20, and even less so for a Bachelor’s degree in Business (where Maths higher is required).

The strategy was to focus on International Relations to enable her to get into the top European universities: IE in Spain, Maastricht, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

She got admitted everywhere!

Edward: a very good student at a Geneva college with an Economics/Law option and Maths higher. Instead of applying to Business Management, which he had planned to do, we targeted the Economics programmes, which are more Maths-based and more challenging (but less in demand!). This enabled him to stand out from all the other students applying for Business and to make the most of his Maths skills.

Target universities: LSE, Warwick, King’s, UCL and Exeter in England. At the same time, he applied to IE, ESCP and Bocconi.

He had 4 offers in England (all except UCL), IE and ESCP.

Henry: a scientific student in a British boarding school, with a passion for Aeronautical Engineering (for which Maths and Physics/Chemistry are required). He therefore took Maths and Physics higher level for his IB.

He applied in England for specific programmes in Aeronautics, but also at McGill, Concordia and DTU (in Denmark).

He was admitted to McGill, Concordia and DTU in addition to 4 universities in England.

Studies are built over time

If your A-levels or Maturita grades are important for getting into the Bachelor’s programme of your choice; your Bachelor’s grades are important for applying for a Master’s degree. It can sometimes be more beneficial to do a Bachelor’s degree that you’re more comfortable with, to open the door to a better Master’s later on. A winning strategy in the long term!

Marie-Charlotte had neither the profile nor the academic maturity to enter one of the top 10 universities in England. However, she successfully passed her Bachelor’s at Regent’s University London. Then, thanks to EDUCOM’s support, she was offered a Master’s degree at King’s College London and the London School of Economics. The same goes for Arthur, who didn’t get the necessary IB points to validate his IE offer in Madrid. As a result, he left to do his Bachelor’s at Hult London and was then admitted to the Master’s in Finance at IE.

Studies are designed to reveal the talents and potential of each student. By analysing every situation individually and in depth, investigating the student’s motivations and working out the best strategy together, 80% of the students coached by EDUCOM get into their first-choice university and 99% into their second choice.

Successful study is the goal of anyone who wants to finish their apprenticeship and enter the professional world. It requires a good knowledge of yourself, information about your field of study and the openings it offers, a good dose of organisation and ambition! At EDUCOM, we know that there is a university to suit every student. And it’s our mission to help you on the path to your future.

More information on university coaching