What should I do at a uni open day?
A university open day isn’t just a chance for you see where you’ll be sleeping for the next three years, there is so much more on offer in regards of information and advice. Follow our tips below to ensure you get the most out of your university open day and leave feeling that you got all you could out of the day! Remeber to check the open day calendar for upcomming open days!
One is a lonely number
When attending a university open day its vital that you don’t go alone – more so because it is a long day and it can get very lonely and boring! Other reasons include, having someone else there to get their unbiased opinion and to be able to think of questions to ask that you might not have thought of. Two minds are definitely better than one, and three better than two and so on! You can take your parents, family members or a friend – it will make the day better anyway!
To make your outing even more successful plan the itinerary loosely, so all members in your visiting party know the agenda. In this plan you can check out what courses you are interested in taking and make sure you attend their presentations, talk to previous or current students for advice, and sit on talks about student finance, student caccommodation and university life – all the areas that will affect you if you are attending that university. Choosing the right accommodation is essential, if you are moving away to university – there will be likely to have differnet student halls, so be sure to check them all out!
The campus is where you will spend some of your time – walking in between lectures, meeting friends or taking a break from your all-nighter at the library! It’s central to the university and where most utilities are based. You should download or print out a map before you go so you have a feel for the layout of the campus when you are there and help you once you are walking around. The campus will feel big – almost guaranteed! But once you are a student at a university it won’t feel that big at all anymore!
Check out your new town or city
Your university will only be a part of your lifestyle once you start, your local area will also play a vital part in your university life! There will be night outs, food shopping and job opportunities available around you. If you check where you will be in relation to your local city etc. you can gain an idea about commuting and travel times. Before heading there, check out our student city guides, it will provide you with a good basis to go on!
Book the right spots
There are some talks, lectures, and mini-classes that you will have to book or only available once throughout the day so have a full list of the university itinerary and go through everything and work out if there are some things that are more important than others! Once you have that list, you can also see if there is anything you can do in between your schedule that day, such as, eating in the canteen looking into the university gym or societies.
Set out categories of what you want to ask, housing, lectures, timetable, university facilities are examples, and then have questions for each – they can be just notes for now if you have an idea of what you want to ask. That way if you are in different lectures you know what questions you can ask and what they relate to, instead of looking through pages of notes! It would be really beneficial for those wanting to study abroad to ask what programmes they have in place, do they have the Erasmus programme or any other student exchnaged programmes.
Fit it all in
You need to try to do that you can fit in on the day – because depending on how far away your university is, you might not be able to come again until after results day! Try to visit at least one or two subject talks – which will be a department head or lecturer running the talk, for example, media or biology or business, sample lectures – what it will feel like when you are there studying!, or department visits – where the whole arts department, for example, may put on.
Try to get on a tour of the campus, SU venues or accommodation, as you might not be able to look around these areas yourself, and wandering around trying to work out where everything is can be so confusing! If you’re keen to play sport at university, check out the facilities and ask what team are on offer.
Also, make time for student finance or UCAS talks so you can gain all the information that can directly affect you. This can be a perfect change to ask about bursaries, scholarships and extra funding that your university can offer you.
Hopefully, the university open day will help you make a decision whether you would study there for three to four years! The course is just as important as the university, as you could choose a top notch institution but find you hate your course! Ensure you understand what is actually involved in the course, modules and classes you take, and how you are assessed; essays, coursework, reports, projects or exams.
How do you feel?
At the end of the day, ask yourself how you feel about everything together? Could you see yourself studying there, walking across the campus and having a drink at the SU? If the answer is yes then brilliant! If you still have questions you can also check out online university forums, or speak to current students to get any other information. If you’re unsure because there is another university that is just as good to you, then the only thing to do now is to sit and give yourself enough time to make a decision.