If you’re thinking of coming to university, open days is where it starts to get real. It’s your opportunity to get a first-hand snapshot into what it would be like to study, live and socialise at that university.
It can feel a little scary and overwhelming, but it's important to remember that the whole day is about you. Is the course right for you? Can you see yourself here? To make the most out of your open-day, here are five questions we think you should be getting the answers to while you're visiting potential universities.
1) What's different about this course?
There’s so many things to gain out of coming to university, but obviously the main reason you’re there is to get a degree. It’s likely that your course is available at a number of different institutions, so what makes this particular degree programme the one for you?
Things like your course’s class size, number of contact hours a week and assessment methods are really important when it comes to choosing a university. So is what academics are going to be teaching you. They are also usually the questions that often get forgotten about in the excitement of open days.
2) Where am I going to be living?
For three or more years this is the Campus and local area that you’re going to call home. Take time to wander around and explore, does it have everything you want from a new hometown?
If you're thinking of going into first-year halls, what's their guarentee that you'll be allocated somewhere? And looking on to second and third year, are there plenty of affordable student lets near campus?
3) How's student life on campus?
The best person to ask about student life at the university you’re visiting is students themselves. Most open days have student ambassadors helping out, and they are there to help you and answer any questions you have. So don’t be afraid to ask them about their time at the university.
What’s the local socialising spots like? What's it like to study there? Are they glad they chose that univeristy?
4) What support am I going to get?
University can be a big adjustment, for most students it's their first time living away from home, and studying in a more independent environment. So it's important to be aware of what academic and pastoral support you would have access to, incase you end up needing it.
This is usually signposted under student services or student support. Take time to wander the local area, does it have everything you want from a new hometown?
Throughout your time at university, you are likely to have some courserelated questions that you need an academic's help with. Therefore, enquiring about their office hours and one-to-one academic support that is on offer, is a good way to find out if the help is going to be there.
5) Ask about something you love ♥
Just because you're going to university doesn't mean you have to drop your hobbies and passions! An open day is the perfect time to find out if it's something you can keen persuing.
Ask the Students’ Union about their societies and sports teams. Joining something that takes your interest is one of the best ways to meet like-minded people at university. And there’s usually something for everyone. If not, there's sometimes even the opportunity to create a brand new society.
Most universities have excellent facilities, from well-equipped gyms to theatres. Make sure you come away knowing what's on offer for you, at that institution.