When it comes to deciding what university is right for you, an open day really brings the university experience to life. It can help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect place to study.
On an open day visit you can find out about the course you like, talk to staff, see the facilities - such as labs, music studios, libraries and gyms - and visit the accommodation. Some open days, like the ones at Bangor University, are structured and have a specific programme for the day, whilst on others you can wander around the university on your own and visit the department at any time.
You should always read the information that you receive before the open day to help you prepare for your visit, as this is how you’ll get the most out of it. There’s nothing worse than arriving unprepared and stressed because you’ve left everything until the last minute.
Open Day tips…
- Make a checklist
- Be prepared!
- Take photos
- Go to talks and visit exhibition stands
- Talk to students
- And finally...
Before the day of your visit you should make a note of what in particular you’re keen to find out about during the day: Do you want to ask specific questions about the course? Are you thinking of studying abroad for a year? Do you want to know more about dyslexia support? If you have a checklist ready before you go, you’re less likely to forget to ask the important questions.
If you need a to bring a registration card with you, or you’ve been sent a map to find your way around campus or a programme for the day, have these ready for when you arrive. Many universities also have campus maps and virtual tours on their websites, so it can help to have a look at these to familiarise yourself with the surroundings before you get there.
Think about taking photos during the day to remind you of the university. This is especially helpful if you’re planning on attending a number of open days, as it’s easy to get confused between halls of residences, gyms and libraries if they look quite similar.
Many universities hold talks throughout the day on subjects such as student finance, student life, applying for accommodation and student support. These are definitely worth attending and can help alleviate any worries you might have about starting university. There are also opportunities to visit exhibition stands and find out more about the support services the university offers, such as disability, careers and employability, as well learning more about facilities such as sports centres and programmes such as studying abroad.
Whilst it’s really important to know about the course content and campus, you should also take into account what the student experience is like. Spend time talking to current students and ask them what they’re doing on their course and in their spare time. There will be plenty of students around during the day so this is your golden opportunity to discover what the university is really like – and what you could be getting up to as a student.
Don’t worry if you feel that you haven’t covered everything you wanted on an open day, as this isn’t your only chance to visit a university. After you have applied you will be invited back again to a UCAS Applicant Visit Day, where you get to take another look at the campus and halls of residence and spend more time with lecturers and students discussing the course and seeing what they have to offer.
Find out about Bangor University's upcoming open days here