Open Days and What to Ask
This week’s blog post is aimed at those of you currently doing your AS exams who will be thinking about where to go to university and which open days to head to.
Open days in general…
Open days are the absolute best thing to help you decide on where to go to university. Uni websites and brochures are extremely helpful but there’s nothing like spending an entire day getting the feel for a particular city or campus. So book onto as many as you have time for – but be aware that they usually all fall on a Saturday! When deciding on universities I visited about six or seven, including Oxford, Nottingham, Bristol, Bath and I even travelled all the way up to Edinburgh!
Do your initial research and see which universities offer the best course for you at the most achievable grades. After you’ve found a few nitial choices, start booking yourself (and usually you can take both of your parents or guardians) onto the open days. When booking the open days you will usually have to choose a few talks to attend, plan these carefully leaving enough time between each to get to the different venues (you’ll definitely get lost during the day!).
Another good thing to do before the actual day is gather a list of questions that you can get answers to during the day. This will be difficult at first but after the first visit you’ll start to get an idea of what you want to find out.
Here’s a few examples…
– what do you look for in a personal statement?
– should I expect to be interviewed for this course?
– how lenient are the entry requirements?
– how many optional modules can I choose in year 1/2/3?
– how long is the rent on the halls?
– will I need to move out during the Christmas and Easter holidays?
– is there good parking in case I need to bring my car?
Costs and Budgeting:
– how much on average do student spend a week?
– where is the nearest place to buy groceries?
– will I be able to get a job on campus?
Finally, don’t be afraid to visit universities that you’re not too sure about. I never wanted to visit Warwick because I was convinced I wanted a city university – as well as the fact that I felt really unwell when the open day came around! But I made the effort to visit even if it was only for a couple of hours and not long into the day it was clear that this was where I was meant to be. Most people get that ‘gut feeling’ at one particular university so listen to what your heart tells you as well as your head!
Good luck with your exams and get booking!