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Choosing where to study

Virtual open days

Read about how to make the most of virtual open days and events and find out what you need to know.

Student on his laptop at a virtual open day

Keep exploring

You can still see the campus in all its glory at virtual open days and events. Virtual tours are offered by most UK universities. They let you watch videos and use interactive maps so you can get a feel of the university and its surroundings. Make sure you see examples of accommodation, lecture halls and the city/town streets. This way, you can get as good a feel of the place as possible. 

Do as many tours as you can

You can sit in the comfort of your own room and visit a range of universities without worrying about the cost and practicalities of travelling the entire country. Use this to your advantage to compare and contrast each city/town and uni. Think about the accommodation and facilities, and how each university ticks the boxes you’re looking for. 

Ask lots of questions

Most universities will offer virtual tours with current students and staff. Use the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can, like you would on an in-person open day. You could ask parents/family to log in too and ask questions relevant to them. This way, they can have any of their concerns answered, and may even ask a question you hadn't thought of.

Treat it as a live chat and Q&A rather than an open day. You won't really get the feel of a campus or accommodation online, or really grasp how far the accommodation is from lectures, or how safe the area is where the university is based (although the CUG crime tables can help), so this is more of a fact-finding mission.

James Seymour, Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at University of Gloucestershire 

  2. What to ask at a university open day

Don’t fixate on coronavirus

It’s good to remember that going to university is a three-year (or more) commitment. There are a lot of other things to ask, to see and to compare that’ll affect your experience and lifestyle over your entire time there. Ask what you need to know about the current covid situation by all means, but be aware of things to consider outside of the immediate circumstances, such as accommodation, clubs and societies, and transport links. 

Phone a friend

Perhaps a friend is looking at the same universities or similar subjects. Chat with them and discuss what you’ve seen at different universities so far. Two people looking at the same place may notice different things, so you can discuss the pros and cons together.

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