You may have heard from your teachers, friends, or parents about an open day at a university or college tour, but you might not know precisely what they mean. What are they, and how do you benefit from open days?
What is an open day at a university?
Open days are when universities open their doors to prospective applicants, allowing them to see the learning environment, accommodation and social spaces first-hand.
An open day at a university will give you an insight into whether a particular course and university are right for you. An open day is a chance for prospective students to visit the university and meet with current students and staff. You will be able to see if it’s the right place for you and get an idea of how things work at the university.
Why should you attend an open day at a university?
Open days are an excellent way to get a feel for the place you’ll be studying in if you’re considering applying to a university. You might even be able to visit some of the lectures and seminars held there during these events. They are also good to explore students’ local amenities and facilities.
When should I go to an open day at a university?
Open days usually take place in September and October, but some universities have open days throughout the year. If you want to attend one, make sure that you book early! Open days can be very popular, so booking ahead will ensure you get a space on campus.
What is the difference between a campus tour and an open day at a university?
Campus tours are usually led by current students who take you through the campus and show you specific areas of importance. You may also be able to see student accommodation.
An open day at a university is often held where you can meet staff members and learn about what they do. These are great places to find out more about your course and how you might fit into it. They are also good opportunities to make friends and network.
What should I expect from a university open day?
Each open day at a university is different but typically runs from 10 am to 4 pm. Some universities also run virtual open days where you watch the event online. A virtual open day is useful for international students.
You should contact the university beforehand to find out if they do this. Most universities will host campus tours, specific subject lectures and talk sessions on topics including student finances and lifestyles.
They’ll often publish a timetable in advance, so ensure you’re aware of any changes. There’s usually no formal dress code to attend an open day at a university, but it’s worth dressing smartly. Make sure you know what the closing times are before attending. A university open day is not an interview, so feel free to wear whatever you fancy.
What should I prepare for my university open day visit?
Preparation is key to getting the best out of your open day at a university. Selecting the right universities to visit should begin this process, so ensure each university offers a degree that interests you! Don’t base your choice on where your buddies or significant others are heading.
Although it’s a natural concern about missing your pals, school is a highly individual and sometimes expensive journey – an opportunity to explore new locations, socially and academically, and put yourself into an excellent position to discover a career after graduating. Table ranking is a great device to help you choose the correct institution.
How do you book a place on a university open day?
University open day events are free to attend. However, places must be booked in advance, usually online via their website. Booking early is recommended, so you don’t miss out on any spots. If you cannot attend the specified date, do not worry and consider another option, such as visiting the campus privately.
Some universities also offer private tour options. Once you have registered for your place, you should start thinking about how you are getting there. If you are taking public transport, ensure that you book tickets in advance and take some time to browse through other parts of the city you would like to visit.
Can I go with my parents to an open day at a university?
You may not wish to visit any university campuses alone, but it never hurts to seek out a second opinion. Sometimes, parents accompany their children on these visits. Not only does it make them happy, but it is also helpful to have someone asking questions they might not consider.
Parents often see universities through a different set of eyes to students and may even offer advice that could help you decide whether or not you should apply.
If you have a close friend who is also interested in the same course, it can be a way to spend quality time together. Make a note of where you would like to visit, what you would like to talk to people about and what questions you would like answered.
It is easy to overlook important details when you are excited about possibly attending the same university.
What questions should I ask at a university open day?
You should ask at the open day what modules you will study (including core modules and electives), the type of assessments common with your course, employability opportunities, e.g. placement and internships, access to physical and online learning resources, staff contact hours, and library opening times including during bank holidays.
Think about what you want to study
When considering your future career, consider whether the university you’re considering has a degree programme that matches your career goals. If you don’t know what you want to study, talk to someone who knows about the courses available at the school.
Think about where you want to study
You need to consider your academic career and the environment you will live in when choosing where to go to university. Remember to take into account things like:
- Investigate transport routes and distances from amenities to the university
- Visit the student union
- Explore study areas, including the library
- Cost of living on campus or off-campus
- Is there sufficient student support? (especially if you have a disability)
- Does the university promote part-time opportunities to students?
What should I do after attending an open day at a university?
After visiting different universities, you should set up a comparison chart between them. Talk to the students who accompanied you to see if they had any good experiences at the university.
You can also ask for advice from friends and family members who’ve attended similar courses there. If you’re not sure yet, you can contact the university directly to discuss your options further.
Remember: attending an open day at a university can be subjective.
University open days are one of the most important things to know about when attending a university. They are there to promote themselves and to get people interested in studying at their institution.
They’ll do anything to ensure visitors see them in the best light. They’ll clean up any messes and polish everything to look perfect. Everyone will be on their best behaviour.
Even if that’s all good, it doesn’t reflect what everyday life will be when you’re at uni, so don’t expect everything to be perfect from day one.
Remember that things might not always go according to plan, and you must be prepared for anything. You can visit some campuses during the holidays to see what they’re like.
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