For many, open days are the basis for the decisions individuals make regarding University and the place of study that they choose. It is exciting being given tours of the University with the thought of potentially studying there one day, but it is just as important to ask questions to find out whether it is the right place for you.
I would advise having some pre-planned questions before attending any open days to avoid the common mind-blank saga, and to ensure that you don’t leave the University wishing you’d asked something but hadn’t. There is no harm in asking the same questions at different open days if anything it allows you to compare the responses and start deciding which University you prefer to the rest.
My main tip for open days would be speaking to current students! It is good and well speaking to lecturers and course leaders, but no one knows the course as well as the students who study there, so if you want an honest answer then they will be your most useful tool!
It is perfectly normal to question current students about balancing their studies and social lives, and whether they have a job whilst at University – these are the honest questions that will be of great benefit to you in the long run, and they are to be expected by the current students who, from my experience, are grateful to give you an insight into their life and their student experiences.
You will see plenty of warm, welcoming faces around the University, and the Student Ambassadors are there to help. If you are thinking of applying for an education-related course at the University of Worcester, then the Institute of Education (Binyon) building should be your first point of call. Do not be afraid to poke your head into lots of rooms (and admire the displays, made by current students) as it will be the best way to get a feel for how the classrooms are set out, how sessions might be taught, and the type of work that you will be asked to produce.
Another question I would recommend asking is what the additional opportunities available to you as a potential trainee teacher at that University are. This is where some Universities will outshine the rest, and as the teaching world is so competitive, it is important that you are fully in the know of what opportunities you can take up to enhance yourself and increase your employability. The University of Worcester prides itself on its number of additional opportunities, and this is another reason why I chose to study there – there is something for everyone.
The key to a successful and fully informative open day is having an open mind; as you walk around the University and meet the members of staff, always ask yourself “can I see myself studying here?” and remember that there is no such thing as a silly question!
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