Open days: how to plan valuable visits

Friday 20 December 2019, UCAS advice


Open days: how to plan valuable visits

A survey published this weekend suggests that a quarter of students don’t attend open days before applying to university. We found this quite surprising, as open days are so helpful when it comes to painting a picture of university life and choosing courses. Yet our own research also suggests that a similar percentage of students still choose not to make these important visits before applying.

Here's more about the value of open days, where to find key information and how to make the most of visits.

I think it’s essential to visit a university or college before committing to at least three years of study. It’s another way of making sure your choice is right for you. Open days are an important part of researching courses and can make all the difference when it comes to making informed course choices.

By just setting foot on a campus you'll immediately get a feel for the place; perhaps you'll be able to picture yourself going there almost every day for the next few years, or the opposite - 10 minutes might be all you need to know that a particular university definitely isn’t for you!

Open days are often on weekends as well as weekdays and take place throughout the year. To help you plan your visits, we’ve made finding out about open days as easy as possible with our new open days search tool. All you have to do is choose the university or college you’re interested in visiting from the list, hit ‘Select’ and away you go! You’ll see upcoming open day dates, contact details and links through to the unis' own websites for more info.

Going on a visit will help you understand what university life is like, as you’ll be shown around lecture theatres, labs, catering facilities, bars and halls of residence. You’ll get some idea of the geography of the area and how close you’ll be to key services like train stations and supermarkets.

Open days are also prime opportunities to ask questions - not just to the staff, but perhaps more importantly, the students already studying there. You can ask almost anything and it can be far more revealing than reading a prospectus.

By making an effort to include open days in your research, you can avoid the disappointment of starting a course and finding it isn’t what you expected.

The open days search tool is a great place to start this chapter of your journey to university. Once you've got the dates in your diary, have a read of our open days hints and tips to help you make the most of your visits.

Speak to current students with Unibuddy!