First Year Of College: How To Change Course?

In the first year of a bachelor's degree at university, it is not uncommon for newcomers to be dissatisfied with their post-baccalaureate orientation. If you are one of these students who would like to change direction, know that there are several possibilities for reorientation in the first year of college. We explain how to reorient yourself through Parcoursup... or not!

Why change direction?

For young people who have just graduated from high school, the first year of university is often a difficult hurdle to overcome. Entering the world of higher education is even more complicated when post-baccalaureate orientation does not correspond to the student's deep aspirations...

It is very common for young people who dreamed of becoming a doctor to be discouraged by the workload and rote learning in their first year of medical school. But the medical faculty is far from the only training that records dropouts after a few months.

Even in other fields, it often happens that a course does not correspond to the student or does not please them. According to official statistics, one out of three young people drops out of their studies during the year. For all students who question their post-baccalaureate orientation, reorienting themselves is the only solution to not lose their year.

How to reorient oneself?

If you are one of the students disappointed with your post-baccalaureate orientation, you should not panic or despair at the idea that you will lose a year of studies... Indeed, there are several possibilities for reorienting in the first year of university. The solution to consider depends on the time of the academic year when you are sure you want to change direction.

If you become aware very early on that the course you are enrolled in is not at all suitable for you, you can knock on the doors of other universities or training institutes as early as October or November.

It is possible to change direction during your degree provided you react in time, that is to say between November and January. Each institution sets its own calendar for the modalities of reorientation and the possibility of a delayed start.

Within the same university, there may also be differences in the calendar from one department to another, so you are best advised to inquire as early as possible.

Who to contact?

If you are convinced that you are not in the right program for you, but you don't know which other training to turn to, the easiest thing to do is to contact your SCUIO, the university's common service for information and orientation.

This service, present on each university campus, will give you useful information about the steps to take to reorient yourself, whether or not you go through Parcoursup depending on the case.

You can complete this first step of information on available training by consulting specialized websites such as that of Onisep. But online research is not enough!

It is strongly recommended to go to an information and orientation center because SCUIO's guidance counselors will also help you clarify your reorientation project in order to avoid taking another false start.

What are the steps to be taken?

To switch to a different major in your first year of college, you generally need to put together an application by providing your high school transcripts and a letter of motivation. Your chances of being accepted into another program depend on the quality of your application and the number of available spots.

To increase your chances of being accepted, you should:
• pay special attention to your letter of motivation
• demonstrate your seriousness by taking your exams in your current program even if you already know you want to switch.

If you are accepted, you can start your new program as early as January. The concept of a second enrollment is becoming more common in higher education institutions because it allows students who are poorly oriented to not waste time in their higher education studies.

In some faculties, specific programs or pathways have been put in place to help students switch more easily to other fields and avoid dropping out completely.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Yan Krukau on Pexels
Tags: higher education, Switch, calendar, Motivation, waste, modalities, hurdle, universities, The solution, medical school, rote learning, faculties,
In French: Première année de fac : comment se réorienter ?
En español: ¿Cómo reorientarse en el primer año de la universidad?
In italiano: Primo anno di università: come riposizionarsi?
Auf Deutsch: Erstes Jahr im College: Wie kann man sich neu orientieren?
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