What to do at an open day
It may be your only chance to visit the university before becoming a student. So make sure to take advantage of the day.
We've compiled a list of suggested actions to take and questions to ask when you visit a university. This will help you find out what you are unlikely to discover from a prospectus or internet research.
Bear in mind that on open days, universities are trying to be as attractive as possible to you. Be aware of this and try to look below the surface!
There will be tours that you can join at university open days. Tour guides can show you around the campus, departments and some available accommodation. This will allow you to see what the university is like first-hand.
There will be several different talks that you can attend at the open day. These will be department and course talks, and general admissions talks. Attend the ones that apply to you to learn more about the university.
Take a look at what facilities there are. This includes educational facilities such as libraries and study areas, social facilities such as restaurants and bars, the Students' Union, and sports facilities. Try and see as much of the university as possible.
Don't be afraid to explore the campus away from your parents for a short while. This way you can form opinions of the university for yourself.
Also, if you have the time, visit the local town or city. As a student you will not be spending all your time on campus, so see if the surrounding area will keep you entertained.
Don't forget to keep an open mind
A simple but important thing to do!
Lecturers and most other university staff who are there on open days are on hand to answer your questions. Don't be afraid to ask!
Make sure to dig around to find out what you want to know. Find out if the course you want to study will include some of your specific interests. See if you'd be able to stay in the accommodation during the holidays.
Some good questions to ask are:
- What is the split between seminars and lectures?
- How much studying am I expected to do outside of contact time?
- How much tutor support will I receive?
- Are there any extra opportunities around my subject, such as workshops?
- If I don't meet the grades, is there still a chance I could be offered a place?
- Should I apply for more than one course from this university?
- What will make me stand out on my application?
- Will there be interviews before I am offered a place?
- What careers support is there? Where could my degree lead me, and how will this university help me get there?
Student ambassadors will give you a different outlook of the university. Ask them questions about university life and what it is like to be a student. These are questions that current students will be able to answer much better than university staff.
Some questions to ask are:
- What has been the best thing about university for you? And the worst?
- What is your course like, are you enjoying it?
- Are the tutors and lecturers on this course inspirational?
- What is the teaching and support like?
- Does the local area accommodate for students?
- What is the student social scene like?
- Are you happy with your accommodation, and how easy was it to secure?
- Is there some accommodation that is better or worse than others?