Sohanna grew up in Abu Dhabi, studied abroad at Cambridge University and completed her master’s at the Royal College of Art. She now works for an architecture firm specialising in social housing in London Image Credit: Supplied

“Like all parents, mine wanted the best for me,” says Sohanna. “The best education, the best professors, the best preparation I could have that would set me up for a successful future.

“What nobody realised was how hard that first step would be… choosing the best university for me.”

Sohanna exhales deeply, as if just admitting this truth lifts a huge weight off her shoulders.

“There were so many choices, but no one to talk to in Abu Dhabi who had been to the universities I was considering,” she continues. “Choosing the right university sets you up for life. The education you get… connections you make… the things you learn about the world. I was only 17 years old. How could I make such a big decision?”

Sohanna isn’t alone. Millions of families around the world have the same questions:

● How can I judge one school versus another?

● What’s the application process like?

● How do I know these courses will lead to the career I want?

● And what is it really like to study at a particular university or college?”

Studying overseas opens up a world of opportunities

If the higher education institutions at home don’t have what you’re looking for, then your search parameters just got wider. Now you’ve got thousands of courses around the world to choose from.

More options? Great! More research? Not so great.

Reading through countless pages online and scanning through one social media account after the next will only get you so far. Nothing can replace a real live, face-to-face conversation with someone who has been there, done that.

Meanwhile, the competition to get accepted is intense. A website might tell you the basic entry requirements, but to really know what admission officers are looking for in student applicants, you need to speak with them directly.

Luckily, that face-to-face opportunity is coming to us at the UAE Global Education Fairs in Dubai (March 1-2) and Abu Dhabi (March 4). Mark your calendar and pre-register for free, fast-track entry at www.globaleducationfairs.net.

The UAE Global Education Fairs will take place in Dubai on March 1-2 and in Abu Dhabi on March 4 Image Credit: Supplied

The UAE Global Education Fairs are run by BMI, a world-renowned UK organisation that brings the experts right to your doorstep, with representatives from more than100 universities, business schools, medical schools and colleges from the UAE plus more than 21 countries across Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia.

The UAE Global Education Fairs give you the opportunity to learn first-hand from student alumni and education experts who can advise you on specialised programmes, short courses, internships, undergraduate courses, MBA and postgraduate courses.

In addition to the exhibition, the UAE Global Education Fairs also feature 15 seminars from institutions and international agencies including EducationUSA and the British Council. Parents and students can learn how studying overseas can offer a wealth of benefits, from a world-class educational experience to a chance to explore new cultures and enhance interpersonal and communication skills. Seminars also cover the education systems around the world, exam requirements, visa processes, types of courses, accommodation, cost of living as well as funding options.

Know before you go

“I got into Cambridge,” says Sohanna. “So I’m one of the lucky ones. I worked hard to get there, but back then, my parents and I had so many questions. I even flew to the UK just to speak to someone in person. I wish there was a student fair like this one so we could have talked to people - especially in our city - who knew about the educational experience institutions offer. It would have helped so much.”

Entry to the UAE Global Education Fair is free. It’s best to register in advance for fast-track entry: www.globaleducationfairs.net.