Questions to ask during an open day
I hope you have managed to take a break from your studies to be able to relax over this Christmas holiday.
With the UCAS deadline fast approaching, you will soon be thinking about which universities to visit (for the first or second time) based on the offers you receive.
These events, are called an open day or a post applicant visit day (since you have already applied and received an offer).
To make the most of these visits, especially since you will be travelling from far, and it may even be the last time you visit before selecting your firm and insurance, it is important to know what to look out for.
What does the course entail?
Speak to any course tutor you can on the day, along with students. The course tutors will tell you officially what the course entails, and this is a good starting point to know what to expect. Students, however, will tell you what the course actually covers. Most of the time the two answers are exactly the same, but it never hurts to gain a personal account from a student anyway.
– Look into which modules are core, and which optional ones are available (note that this may change though).
What will my timetable be like?
Knowing how many contact hours a week you should expect may help to inform your decision. Ask students how many hours they spend studying outside of the formal hours too.
What size are seminars/lectures?
The size of the lectures doesn’t matter too much so don’t be surprised if you hear high numbers here. Seminars though, are where you have the chance to discuss ideas and ask your tutor questions. This will prove difficult if each class has over 30 students!
Are there placement/study abroad opportunities available?
Bias me will stress the importance of this question. Either way, it is always good to know what opportunities are available to you even if you aren’t considering them at the moment.
What skills will you gain from the course?
Look out for buzzwords that employers will like to hear. Things like research skills, confidence, public speaking are some things that will be valuable in applying for jobs.
Do the university/department run job fairs?
University job fairs are valuable for a broad awareness of the type of jobs available to you, especially if you do not know what you want to do. Department ones are equally as important though as it shows that they truly care about their students post-study.
Typically what jobs do students go into?
Ultimately, your university experiences are supposed to aid your career growth. Find out what other students who have previously been in a similar position to you have gone onto doing.
Which accommodation would you recommend?
Now, keep in mind that the answer to this question will be hugely biased depending on who you ask. In my first year, Rootes was central to my time as a student as therefore my recommendation of choice. Asking this though may help inform what things you may want to look out for/avoid in an accommodation.
Key accommodation facts.
Distance, cost, ensuite/shared, how many people to a kitchen are all important things to know when applying for accommodation.
What societies are you part of?
Warwick has a lot of societies. A lot. Asking students which societies they are part of will help you gain a glimpse of just how many things you can get involved in.
Can I get involved in XYZ sport if my ability is at XYZ?
For instance, I wanted to casually get involved in netball during my first year, which I managed to do with the Mixed Netball society, rather than being directly in the competitive team. Equally, I was able to take on squash lessons in my second year as a complete beginner. If sports is your thing, find out whether the university caters for your level.
What is the nightlife like? What if I am not into drinking/clubbing?
The social aspect of a university will greatly impact your experience as a student. Whether you are into the nightlife scene or not – ask these questions to get a glimpse of what to expect.
Questions to ask yourself
Do I truly see myself walking around this campus nearly every single day for the next three+ years? This may sound slightly daunting and off-putting, but you just have to go with your gut instinct. I personally love Warwick as a campus and visited after firming my offer (as I applied through adjustment) which was a big risk. Definitely pleased with my decision!
Will I be okay foodwise? Perhaps you want your culture’s cuisine nearby. Maybe you have specific needs such as requiring food to be delivered to you.
Is the cost of being at this university manageable for me?
Most importantly, enjoy visiting universities and I hope to see you at Warwick soon during an open day!
Shanita 🙂 xo