Some great tips from our student blogger Steve Adamson on making the most of open days
University open days are here again, and it’s important to know what you are there to look at. Most people haven’t had to do this sort of thing before, as your parents were probably responsible for finding your secondary school. With a university open day however, the decision is completely up to you and no one else can make it for you. Read our guide to discover some tips to make the most of the day.
Speak to someone
The most important thing to do at an open day, if you can, is talk to someone about the subject you are looking to study. There will likely be current students in attendance, ask them for their opinions on the institute and course. Try and also find a lecturer or tutor; it’s amazing how many people get intimidated and miss the opportunity to approach an academic. This is especially true if they are talking to another group of people; the easy option is to leave them to it but wait for your moment and take the chance to speak to them. You could make a positive impact on them which may be useful later. There’s a chance that the staff you speak to on the day will be those conducting the interviews, and making a good impression at this point will stand you in good stead for any interviews later on.
Look at the facilities
If your subject requires the use of special equipment, an open day is an ideal opportunity to check it out. This might also help you in your final decision. If two universities have similar rankings but one gave you access to its lab/studio etc, you’ll have a better idea of what’s on offer and might choose it over somewhere else.
See the Students’ Union
The final thing to do is check out the student union. Although this isn’t the most crucial factor in your decision, it is important to see what they will offer you. The first year is when you meet most of the people you hang out with, either in your student accommodation, on your course or in the student union itself. It’s important however to not completely write off a university just because the student union is slightly smaller than another. However much it pains me to say it you’re at university to study and get a degree as well as have a good time!
These are my suggestions of things to do on a university open day, but of course it’s up to you how you spend your time. Prepare any questions you want to ask about the course or the university in advance. Be sure to make the most of your time as this is when you can get first hand answers instantly!