Okay so it’s time to start looking at Universities and this means going to plenty of open days. They can be quite scary at first as they can seem really overwhelming – and that’s just with the pure amount of people attending the event!
It’s never too early to start looking at universities, to prepare yourself; year 11 is an ideal time to start looking at the universities. It gives you enough time to look around at open days without any stress just to get a feel for university life and the kind of campus you want to live on. By the time you come to write your UCAS application in year 12, you’ll be well prepared and already have ideas for universities in your mind rather than starting from scratch. It also gives you a good time to do research on the universities and see what each one has to offer.
First things first, leave in plenty of time for the event, if you’re travelling a fair distance to the open days it may be worth booking into a Premier Inn or something. The worst thing you want to do is turn up stressed out because of the journey! There’s a lot to take in so the calmer you are, the better!
When you sign in at the reception, take a minute to get your surroundings, have a look at the maps and have a look to see what events are on throughout the day – this way you can plan your day without missing out on anything you want to go to.
Always get a tour of the whole campus PLUS accommodation tours! This way you see the university in its entirety and you get a look in all the different types of halls the university has to offer. Seeing pictures and physically being in the halls are two completely different experiences; you can’t judge whether you’re going to like the place just by the pictures on the websites!
Lecturers don’t bite! They’re lovely people once you get to know them, but for the briefest of moments, when you’re deciding whether to go speak to them or not, they’re the scariest people in the whole world! Go and speak to them, they’re there to help – they’ll be bored otherwise. In all seriousness it’s a fantastic opportunity to go and find out what your course is actually all about; you’ll be able to get a more detailed insight and ask specific questions about the course. It’s also a great chance to find out how you will be assessed throughout the course; all universities are different and, at the end of the day, you have to find the best choice for you!
Have a look around the local area, although the majority of the time you’ll be based on campus, for social events you may be going into the city/town centre. It also helps you get your baring’s of the location, especially if halls are a distance away from the main campus. This will help you decide what kind of campus you want to live one and also what type of university.
Speak to the student ambassadors! This way you’ll be able to get an insight of the university from a student’s point of view, and may sway you in your decision about what kind of university you want to go to.
At the end of the day the choice is completely up to you; however these are just a few tips as to what to look for at an open day! Hopefully it can point you in the right direction and get the most out of open days for you.