Going to university Open Days to have a good look around the places you would like to do your degree, is ESSENTIAL! You’ll be committing three years of your life to studying in one place and only YOU can choose the right course and the right location. Here’s the Moving On guide to this important event.
All universities hold Open Days, which are designed for you and your parents to meet the staff and students, to view the campus and its facilities and to check out the accommodation and the local area. Open Days are really well organised and will give you a real taste of the place you’ll be spending a big chunk of your life.
Why do I need to go to university Open Days?
It really is absolutely vital that you do your research and make a shortlist of universities before making your final UCAS choices – you should choose to go to see at least four or five. Universities usually try to hold their Open Days at weekends or in school holidays – dates and times for 2015-2016 can be found on individual university websites and on the UCAS site. If you can’t make it for whatever reason, you can contact the university and ask to be shown round another time.
What do I need to do once I’ve decided where to visit?
You’ll need to register with each university that you’ll be attending their Open Day – thousands of people can turn up and they need to have a good idea of numbers. To get the most out of university Open Days, prepare for each visit beforehand by making a list of relevant questions you’d like to ask the tutors and students about the course and the facilities. For example, what are their latest graduate employment figures for the course you want to study?
Ask uni staff at the Open Day whether there any special grants, bursaries or scholarships you could apply for – if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Find out about living costs – is it cheaper to live in catered halls of residence or in rented accommodation in the local area? Ask a student representative about how they managed their money in their first year, where they chose to live and how it all worked out…
Time to decide
During (and after) each Open Day, ask yourself, “Will I be happy here for three years and is the course here the right one for me?” It’s as simple as that – but only you can decide where and what you study. Don’t end up regretting your choice of university because you couldn’t be bothered to go and check it out…
University students we spoke to agreed that making the effort to visit Open Days really helped them to make an informed decision about where and what they wanted to study. Sometimes, they’d made their choice simply by having a good feeling about the place but generally, most students felt that doing the rounds of Open Days really helped them choose the right university and prevented them from having to deal with any nasty surprises at the beginning of term.