All the research in the world, and all of the collected statistics, student surveys from surveys can tell you a great deal about what your university will be like, but nothing can give you the most realistic idea than current or previous students that studied there. Attending open days are a good thing for you to attend, too, although, plenty of students find themselves asking “What do I do at a uni open day?”. The best thing to do is to start by taking a tour of the grounds and listening to real student’s accounts of their experiences will always give you the greatest indication of what it might be like for you. Here is what the previous students say about university and why it will help you in making a decision.
If your course is in its early years, primarily a few years old, then listening to what other students thought about the course is very important. Other courses may have years and years of statistics that prove great student satisfaction, but to get the real results you should ask students what it was like to study the modules, how the course was assessed and if they thought it was a decent and worthy course to study.
The pictures on the university website can sometimes make your Halls look better or worse than they actually are, even virtual tours aren’t going to give you the best guidance on how decent they’ll be in becoming your new home. Current students of the university can tell you how many of your belongings you should ideally take and what it will be like living there.
Your institution will provide more than just a degree, and in terms of lifestyle, some university campus’ host amazing extras, like the Student Union, Sports, or even a nightclub. Remember to ask previous students what the university can offer you as a whole, even if having a cash machine on campus is a top priority of yours, if it is important to you, talk about it.
You’re intending to move into somewhere different, it could be a different town, city or another country altogether and your life will include more than what you are going to read in the textbooks. Students can identify the great hot spots and places you need to go in your local area, so you have a head start on where to go.
Societies and extra activities
Some universities have hundreds of societies and feature the weird and the wonderful, however, you’re not going to know which ones are legit or even worth signing up for! Ask about any societies that current students know have a good reputation and lots of extra activities you can get involved in.
Potential undergraduates forget about the studying part of the course, so determine how well the library will fit your needs, what are the best times to go, and any unspoken rules you should be aware of! These are the best tips to get off of current students as they have gone through the hardship of learning the rules themselves, once you understand the ins and outs of all aspects of studying, you’ll start higher than everyone else.
The general side to university will be made up of all the little things you might not think about when researching yourself. Previous students can advise you about the canteen, coffee shops, library, student union and where to go if you are having trouble with student loans or your coursework deadline. The general feel of university is also down to the people that you’re going to spend it with; the students you’ll sit next to in class, and the neighbours you’ll live next door to in Halls – and nothing can tell you how great it is going to be than someone else who has lived it for three to four years, and that’s what it’s like being a student!
Talking to previous students will help you understand and seek advice about anything that you’re worried about, and feel you’re not going to find it within the pages of a prospectus or in a percentage inside a statistic.
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