There are a couple of options, depending on your needs.
, from Apple
, You just reboot your laptop into boot camp and start windows. You need to provide your own copy of windows.
, from Oracle
, It's an app that you run on Mac OSX (No need to reboot). Works perfect about 90% of the time (You get what you pay for). You need to provide your own copy of windows.
, MSRP $79 seen as low as $49 recently
, from Parallels
, It's an app that allows you to run windows on your Mac OSX (No need to reboot). Works great and for a while came with a free version of Windows 8 (not sure if it still does), otherwise you have to provide your own copy of windows.
I have used all three of those options. I found that I hated rebooting just to run a program or play a game. So I only rebooted into boot camp when I absolutely had to. So I started using VirtualBox right when Oracle bought Sun (or bought VB from Sun, not sure which it was). I liked it, but was running into USB sharing issues. But I used it more than I did Boot Camp.
Right after Mtn Lion came out, so did Parallels 8, so I bought the full priced version. Which came with a copy of windows 8. One of the benefits of Parallels over the other two is coherent mode. You can launch a windows app just like it was a native Mac app. I use it for work to remote in. I am able to open my work's vnp website in IE (
) with only one click of a button in Safari to launch IE. Also, I am able to switch windows and access Mail or anything else on my mac, something that you can't do with boot camp. It works perfectly 99% of the time, remember we are dealing with Microsoft here.
Microsoft usually does offer a student discount, google it or go through your school to see (they have business discounts too). You need to decide what you want windows for and how often you will need/want to access it.