Open Days Explained
Open days are an ideal way to get to know a university. You can get a hands-on experience where you can personally determine the feel for the place, can see how lectures are taught and work out whether you might enjoy spending the next three years (minimum) there. Nowadays, open days are usually very well structured and organised, but it’s a good idea to know what to expect. So without further ado, let me present you with some open day information!
Before you can go, you *must* book onto the open day online. This will let you book any specific talks you might find relevant as spaces are limited. If you find out you can’t make it, remember to cancel your spot! When you get there, there’ll be loads of information points where you can sign in. To do this, you’ll need to show your ticket which can be found in your confirmation email. Next up, your personalised timetable containing the sessions you have booked should tell you where to go and what you’ll be seeing. The campus is fantastically well sign-posted so you can easily find your own way around, but there will be plenty of people at hand to help guide you. Campus tours take place at regular intervals so if you have time when you first arrive, you can participate to begin to get a feel for the campus. Accommodation blocks are also open so you can check out the different halls, but I personally advise viewing a handful rather than trying to see them all. Try to see at least one en-suite and one shared bathroom. Departmental lectures will be running so you are welcome to attend the drop-in sessions but be sure to follow your timetable not to miss talks tailored to you. The programme you receive on the day will hold information to guide you but I’d suggest chatting to the students (especially those in yellow/red polo shirts!) for more information. Be sure to check out the various eateries around campus to get a taste of your future!
Making the Most of It
Although you’ll get given an influx of information and it’s very easy to just sit back and listen, it might be an idea to bring a tiny notebook to write down essential details either about the uni. or the course you’re hoping to study. You may never look at it again, but at least you’ll be engaging your brain so you will better remember the experience and you’ll have information at hand when later making a decision. Further to this, you could write down any thoughts like ‘oh I really enjoyed this’ or ‘ah I very much appreciated that’ along with any potential negatives you may have, so when it comes to crunch time, you can compare the other universities to the same criteria and make an informed decision as to where you’d like to study. Taking a parent or going with a friend is also useful so you can have another perspective and they’ll help you read the signs so you don’t get lost (ha!) but at the end of the day, it’s your life so you need to determine whether or not you can see yourself there.
Questions and Queries
If you have any questions either on the day or afterwards, don’t hesitate to ask! Students that show you around will give you honest answers, any staff will be genuine and help to explain to the best of their ability and at the end of the day, the open days are for you to learn about the university. Questions are welcome so take an interest and grab the opportunity!
If you are still unsure or have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment below or check out the Open Day FAQs on the university website.