Applying to university: Are Open Days important?

Open days are a vital part of the process of applying to university. A lot of students do not visit any of the universities from their list of top choices which can have an impact later on in their student life. Are Open Days important? Well, they can offer potential students the opportunity to look around campuses that they might one day attend, and help them narrow down their options.

Open days are held throughout the year, usually, a university will try to conduct an open day at least once per term; which means one in autumn, spring and summer. However, it is simple to check when the actual dates are by clicking on the university’s website, or signing up for their newsletter, or even following them on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

If you are lucky enough to have chosen institutions that are close to where you live, then attending these events won’t be that difficult. It’s best to try and visit as many as you can before you apply, however, if it seems impossible for your situation then aim to visit at least two before you choose which university to go to.

As open days are still available after the UCAS application deadline, it is still helpful to visit after January, so that once you receive offers you are in a better position to make the right decision. There are so many different factors that can really affect your quality of study once at university. From student parking, commuting, to the facilities on campus, or how long the walk is from Halls to the lecture halls – it will have an impact. Therefore, when you’re physically there on a university campus you can check all of this out yourself, ask previous and current students what it is like to live there and gain insider information you won’t receive from a prospectus.

If you can, try to book your place on an open day as selected universities may send you reminders and more information about how to find the university, parking and the itinerary for the day. If it is a last minute decision to visit an institution you can always email before you travel to have any questions you may have answered.

The importance of open days isn’t as high as it should be for all potential students, it is a wonderful opportunity to look around and try to visualise yourself living, studying and growing as a person through the lecture halls, campus and atmosphere. Give yourself a goal to visit at least one university before your A Level results and you might surprise yourself in how it can change your decision!