When you’ve scoured university websites and league tables and are still indecisive, a university open day is the perfect opportunity to make up your mind about a university that you’re interested in. It’s a chance to explore the city, meet future students and answer any questions you may have. Consider these tips to get the most out of your open day and leave you feeling confident about your choices.
Be prepared to ask questions
At the open day, there will be a chance to talk to current students, lecturers and faculty members alike – the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have, no matter the topic.
- Talking to current students is one of the most important parts of the open day. They’ll have personal experience about specific student related questions or doubts you might have. Small things might change your mind: ask them about how they cope with the workload, the perfect place to live, or how to make the most out of societies
- Talk to department staff and faculty members too. They will be familiar with first-year concerns, and will have answers on hand to some of the more administrative or technical questions.
- Don’t be shy, and remember there’s no silly questions. Students and staff have taken time out of their usual day to take part in the open day voluntarily and will be expecting questions. Whatever the question is, lecturers and staff have probably heard it before and will be happy to clear any doubt.
Be critical and get ready to compare
Most people go to an open day to make up their mind about a university that they’re interested in. You’ll be deciding between multiple different universities so make sure you remember to be critical and comparative for each one!
- Jot down specific factors about each university, and how each university measures up to avoid yourself getting confused. Some aspects you might want to think about are accommodation options and prices, campus size, the amount of study spaces available and the range of social societies and sports teams
- Ask yourself what you’re willing to compromise on. If one university has better accommodation options but another has a better range of student libraries, it can be hard to make up your mind, so decide beforehand what your non-negotiables are so the open day can be as productive as possible
- Take a sibling or parent – they can suggest ideas or problems you might have not thought of. The open day will present the university in the best possible light, and it can be hard to be realistic without a second opinion!
Get out into the city
If you’re viewing a campus university, it’s very easy to focus solely on university grounds and not properly consider the city itself. You’ve got to remember that this will be your new home, and not just a place to study, so it’s important that you really like the city you’re in as well.
- After the open day, have lunch or go shopping in town – this is the perfect way to see the city and decide if you want to spend the next few years there.
- Look at reviews from students online and get opinions from students while you’re at the open day. If the city is perhaps too small, or doesn’t have much of a student feel, this may be something to consider
Plan ahead of the open day
Before you go, remember to plan the logistics of the day so everything goes to plan and you can focus on the more important aspects of the day.
- Read the university open day agenda. Find out at what time the campus tour, subject talks and Q and A will be so you can plan effectively and pick what bits you definitely don’t want to miss, or other parts that you can afford to not attend
- Decide how you’re getting there. If you’ll be taking the train, find out the best route and book in advance. If you’re driving, consider arriving early to find a spot as it most likely will be crowded
- If you have special requirements to be met such as disability access, get in touch with the university before the open day
- Get familiar with the campus layout by accessing a campus map. Interactive campus experiences are also available online for most universities
- Dress appropriately for the open day. It’ll be a long day and you’ll be walking around more than usual, so pick shoes with good support, and check the weather beforehand so you’re as comfortable as possible
Be sure to check out the Roome website, where we post loads of tips and tricks for university students every single week. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to learn more about how we’re revolutionising the student housing market!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome