How to plan for an open day
Here are eight ways to prepare for a university visit. Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!
1. Begin looking early
Universities can host open days very early into the academic year, so start the process as soon as you can. You may find you have the time to visit a wide range of universities before making your UCAS choices.
2. Book your place in advance
Open day spaces can get filled by hopeful students-to-be very quickly. Make sure you see the universities of interest to you by booking your visit well in advance.
3. Arrange to go with somebody
It is always useful to have a parent or guardian by your side. Ask someone in good time before the open day to go with you. They may open your eyes to aspects of the campus and course that you may not see by yourself.
4. Plan your travel
- Driving – If you are driving to the university, check if there will be parking. A lot of universities provide free parking for visitors on the day. You can also see if any of your friends are visiting the same university on the same day, and arrange to share lifts.
- Public transport – If you are getting the train or bus, think about how will you get from the station to the university. Make sure to plan so that you won't be stuck on the day.
- Extra help – If you do not have the means to travel to open days, several universities have extra support in place. This could include travel vouchers, or meet and greet days in different areas of the UK. Some universities also have virtual tours and live chats on their websites. Take a look at the universities of interest to you and see what they offer.
5. See what tours, talks and taster sessions you might like to attend
Have a look beforehand at what will be available on the day. This way you can know where to be and at what time, and shouldn't miss anything that could be important to you.
6. Write down questions you might want to ask
Research everything about the course, campus, surrounding area, societies, facilities and more. Write down anything you would like to know. Take these questions with you to ask university staff or student ambassadors at the open day. Read more about questions to ask.
7. Take notes and photos
Charge your phone and pack a notebook and pen. By taking notes and photos, you can use these when you are comparing your university choices. It's easier to make notes when you're there, rather than trying to remember some time afterwards!
8. Don't let time, distance, money or convenience intimidate you not into going!
Your university experience will shape your future. It also has the potential to be some of the best years of your life, so take advantage of what is available to you before becoming a student. This will help you to choose exactly what you want and have the best experience possible!
Next page: Postgraduate open days