How to Get the Most Out of Your University Open Days

Thursday 10 January 2019, First year

by Katie

How to Get the Most Out of Your University Open Days

Whilst planning to apply to university, I thought it would be very important to visit as many of the universities I was interested in as possible. After having received and looking through dozens of prospectuses, I picked out 5 universities that had courses that I liked the sound of as well as having entry grades that I found to be achievable. The following are tips as to how to get the most out of your university open days.

1. Be sure to make a list of the dates of the open days you want to go to well in advance. Do not forget that many open days start in June and July so you should start to look for dates in around May. This will allow you to ensure that you do not miss an open day for a university that you wish to look around. Universities also have multiple open days so the earlier you look, the more likely you are to not have open days that cross over.

2. Check the university website to see if there are talks for your subject. Going to a talk or seminar about your subject is the best way to gain the information you need – some universities had out extra information booklets at these talks as well.  This is another reason why you should look for open days early as well because often these talks will have limited numbers and will fill up quickly. Don’t worry if you cannot get to one of these talks however because most open days also have information fairs.

3. The information fair should definitely be one of the B lines that you make on a university open day! Play a sport? Find out about the universities teams and clubs. Enjoy music or drama? Find out the societies available. Want more information about admissions? Go to the information fair! These information fairs have loads of extra information available about the university and the area that it is in. If you have questions; they are the people talk to.

So you’ve been to a talk about your course and you’ve been to the information fair, where to next?

4. Visiting the student union should be another of the places that you spend some time looking at. This is the place you can meet new friends, join societies and get food. You may be able to speak to students in here about what student life is like in the university and in the city.

5. The library is a fantastic place that you will spend most of your time ;) No matter if you are a crazy party animal or a hard core studier, at some point you will need to visit the library to pick up books for your course. Look round the library and see how many books they have for your subject as well as looking at the spaces that they have for studying and group study areas.

6. Another place you will spend a lot of time is of course your accommodation! Universities often have a wide variety of accommodation choices – both on and off campus. There is no need to look around all of the accommodation options – that would take hours. Choose a few different ones – ensuite, catered, self-catered – the combinations are endless. Have a look at one of each and then you should be able to get a feel for what it is that you would prefer.

7. Whilst you’re walking to each of these places in the university you should be able to get a good feel for the campus and its open spaces for recreation as well as generally chilling out with your friends!

8. The final place I would suggest visiting on the campus is the sports centre. If you fancy joining a team or the join whilst you are university, this is the place to find out everything you need to know!

Once you’ve visited all of these places, I would strongly recommend walking the route from the campus into the city and see how long it takes. If it takes a long time, does it have good transport links? If it’s a short walk, where in the city does the walk bring you? I would also suggest taking your parents along to show them what the city you may be living in for 3 or 4 years is like!

I hope that this article has helped you somewhat in planning your open days and I wish you the best of luck in beginning your search for a university you love! As I have been writing this, Oxford Brookes University has made a very exciting amendment to my offer!

To find out a little bit more about me and to come along on the route with me to university, follow me @katieharcourt on Instagram!