How to Choose University
University Twig – Find Your University
When you decide to become a translator, the path to your success seems very, very long. But as the saying goes, even the longest journey starts with a single step. You just have to take the right one. If you have just finished college (or secondary school, since in American English this might create confusion…) the first step you have to take is choosing a good university. How to choose university?
Many people say University is not essential, and in general we agree. University doesn’t make you smarter and doesn’t prove that you’re smart. Many people who have changed history didn’t actually finish University. Some examples?
Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Music. Sergey Brin, billionaire founder of Google. Winston Churchill, British prime minister. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers. Carly Fiorina, CEO, Hewlett-Packard. Henry Ford, billionaire founder of Ford Motor Company. Bill Gates, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers and Pixar Animation. Larry Page, billionaire founder of Google. Steve Wozniak, billionaire co-founder of Apple. Wilbur Wright, inventor of the airplane. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, billionaire.
The list could be much longer. The reason why we mentioned these very successful people who became successful without degree is to make very clear that a degree will not make you successful. YOU will make yourself successful. Your hard work and determination will make you successful. Your endurance, your consistent efforts will make you successful.
On the other hand, it is also true that many people with a degree are successful as well, the point being that success and degree are completely unrelated to one another. That said, you still might want to go to University (or College, in the States). If you decide so, you want to make sure that you choose a good one. Not for something, but only because you are giving them three years of your life, four if you take a Master’s course, even more if you continue towards a PHD. So make sure you choose carefully.
Base your judgement on a range of factors, and do not only look at the party-calendar. Look at criteria such as: do they offer the course you really want to study? Is this course well organized? Does the University support you financially? Does the University support entrepreneurial attitude? Are students generally satisfied with what they have learned?
If you want to become a translator or an interpreter, you must know that some University’s degree are officially recognized by the European Union as a very high standard course that put you in the fast track to work in the European Union or in the European Parliament as translator or interpreter. Same, probably, for other career paths. Did you know that? How many other things there are that might be useful to know and you didn’t know? And so, how can you be sure that you are doing the right choice?
Well, there is an old trick that still works: ask the opinion of people who did it before. You shouldn’t rely only on the self-promotion page of the university (there is another saying that goes more or less “Never ask a restaurant owner if his wine is good.” Got it?) You should talk with friends who took the course and ask for their honest, impartial opinion. But how can you do it if you are heading to a University abroad? How do you find friends in another country even before being there?
Websites like University Twig give you the solution. On these website you can read impartial reviews of people who attended Universities before you. You can ask questions, and get a better understanding of what your life will be like over the next three years. You can find a list of all the universities available in the UK and US (and soon many more countries), you can compare reviews and the fees. This will give you the bases to make your decision more wisely. And, the cherry on the cake, if you start contributing to the website by writing articles and reviews yourself, you will get a share of the website earning. Too good to be true? Give it a try, and verify it with your own eyes. Don’t underrate the importance of attending the right university. Becoming a translator is indeed a long, long journey. Start with the right step.
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