Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Having a Change of Heart? Decide to Switch Paths. If You Are among Them Here's How to Go about It. by Sarah Richardson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Having a Change of Heart? Decide to Switch Paths. If You Are among Them Here's How to Go about It. by Sarah Richardson

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Richardson

PERHAPS you're living away from home for the first time. Perhaps you're mortified by the antics of your extrovert peers and feel pressured to have "fun" when in fact you would prefer to take things more slowly. Perhaps you already sense your choice of course, or college, is not what you expected and you want out -- fast.

While it's natural to have some doubts, for a handful of students it only gets more difficult. Up to one in five students taking up a university place this autumn will decide the university or course they have chosen is not right for them and they wish to switch. So, what should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Think carefully about what it is you are unhappy with. If it is an academic issue, what is the problem? Is it the course content, or perhaps the style of teaching? Are you considering a minor switch or something major, such as a move from engineering to Spanish with media studies? If the institution is the problem, is it the accommodation? Are you having trouble integrating? Talk to your personal tutor or a faculty member about your concerns as they will be able to run through your options. Unfortunately, those students who decide on an alternative institution in the first few months may not be able to transfer immediately into the first year. However, this depends on the university and consequently the process can get complicated, requiring extensive research into the specifics of the course. Chosen institutions should be contacted directly and promptly. The longer you leave it the greater chance you will have to pay for another year's tuition.

Good universities will try to work with you to help you overcome concerns. Jakob, for example, started at the University of East London (UEL) studying sports development in 2007. Although he enjoyed the course and had an interest in sports, he decided he'd prefer to study something that had a more vocational feel with businessrelated modules which would prepare him for the world of work. …

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