It's open day season! If you're considering going to university in 2017, get a feel for the universities you're considering by booking on to an open day.
Here's our top tips on how to make the most of the event:
Be flexible with travel times
Most open days last from morning until late afternoon, but you'll find that there's so much to see and do that you may get to the end of the day without seeing the city or wandering around campuses. If you're coming in from another location, try and save at least half the day to catch the talks relevant to you. If it's possible, though, we REALLY recommend saving the whole day to get a proper feel for the university.
Explore the city
Open days aren't just about getting information on university courses and facilities, it’s also important to explore the area to see what student life would be like. Wander through the student areas and the city or town centre, find a park or green space, visit the local shops and generally get lost exploring. It's the best way to get an understanding of the type of place you'd like to live in.
Some universities will offer free lunch as part of their open day, but if you can afford it, try and sample some of the local food and eat in an independent cafe or restaurant. If you pit for the free buffet (and we don't blame you!) you could always head out for dessert and a coffee afterwards. Or, there's always dinner!
Talk to academics
Speaking to lecturers can be daunting, especially if you're not sure what course you'd like to study, but we can't recommend it enough. Prepare some questions in advance if you can, but if you're still struggling just go and ask what they can tell you about the course and the university. They'll be happy to share as much information as possible, if you're happy to listen.
Speak to student ambassadors
There'll be lots of student ambassadors dotted around the campuses to help you with any questions you may have. They'll most likely be in bright t-shirts and taking visitors on tours around the facilities. Grab one, ask what they study, why they love their university and what they can recommend you get involved with as a student.
Book onto the tours
Accommodation, campus, sports facilities and more. Lift the lid on the university and get a real behind-the-scenes look on what's available to you as a student. Some of the tours can take a big chunk out of your day, so make sure you make time for the talks you want to attend, too.
You may receive information about the talks in advance, but make sure you have a look at the schedule when you arrive and plan your day. There may be specific talks on your chosen course, but there should also be talks on finance, accommodation, disability support, and student life.
Check out the Students' Union
Explore the' union building to see how you would be supported during your studies, and what activities you could get involved with. Some students' unions put on interactive activities and give you a taster of the societies and sports clubs you could join, as well as volunteering and work opportunities.
Find out the university's social media profiles and hashtags (there may be specific hashtags for use on open days - ours is #visithallam). Snap a few pictures of your day, share them online and be a part of the buzz of the day. There might even be a chance to win prizes!
Don't miss the Sheffield Hallam University open days this Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June. Open for those wishing to start university in September 2016 and beyond.
Make the most of your open days
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