Sponsored feature, words by Russ Thorne

The benefits of attending an open day don't stop the moment you submit your application to university. Going before you apply has a lot of perks, but there are just as many reasons to go afterwards too.

To find out more we got some advice from the team at Kingston University London, who are holding post-application Taste KU events on Saturday 15 March and Saturday 5 April this year. They helped us pick out five excellent post-app open day perks...

1 - It's easy to arrange

Perhaps you're thinking about a post-application open day because you weren't able to go previously, or maybe you've been once but want to cover some areas you missed the first time. Or, maybe you just liked the hot chocolate so much at the union that you want to go back.

Whatever your reasons, it's a good idea to book a place early as open days are popular and you don't want to miss out. Thankfully, many unis let you sort this online, so it just takes a few clicks. At Kingston the online process is simple, you just need to head to their dedicated webpage – there are even some fun animations by students to sample as well.

"I would really recommend going to as many open days/evenings and taster day events that you can just so you get a real good feel for the various universities. It really helps your decision making to get a feel of what it will be like and experience what a real day may be like." Adam, Kingston University Student Ambassador.

2 - Get a taste of uni life

Post-application open days give you a sneak preview of the university experience, to help you make your mind up when it comes to choosing your firm and insurance options. At Kingston this includes things like a tour of the campus, the chance to check out the various facilities (back to the hot chocolate sampling again) and an opportunity to get a feel for the site and the surrounding area.

Kingston also provide the opportunity to ask their current students your questions through their Ask Us site, where you can read the student blogs and post your questions to those currently at the uni.

The environment you're in will have a profound effect on your student experience, so getting a really good taste of what a university will be like to live and study in is one of the main reasons for going to an open day. Once you've applied you can double check things, explore new areas and really make sure that it's the right place for you.

At Kingston you can even prepare for your open day with a virtual tour, so you know where to go: click here for more.

3 - Meet staff

You'll be interacting with academic staff throughout your time at uni. A post-application open day gives you the chance to meet them, find out more about your course and get answers to any lingering questions.

At many unis - including Kingston - you'll also have the chance to attend subject-specific sessions, so you'll get an even better idea of what awaits you over the next few years. Plus, you'll be able to say hello to the people who will be teaching you rather than imagining faceless lecturers (which would be terrifying).

"Try and find out about the town/city that the university is in. It is probably your first time living away from home, so it might be worth asking a student ambassador/helper what the town is like; where the biggest supermarkets are in comparison to halls of residence, and what transport links are like" - Chloe, Kingston University Student Ambassador.

4 - Find out about student support services

Because going to uni is about so much more than studying, a post-application open day is also a great chance to check out other aspects of student life. That might mean learning about the social options, sports societies or music facilities, for example.

Plus, it's reassuring to know that if you ever have any issues, help will be at hand. At unis like Kingston, students on a post-application open day can find out all about the student support services on offer and be confident that from money matters to mental health, someone will be there for them.

5 - Get to know your future coursemates

Finally, there's a social side to post-application open days as you'll have a chance to meet your fellow students. It's always helpful to know a few people in advance as it makes the prospect of your first few days on campus less intimidating.

Plus, on the day itself you might make a few friends, find out even more about the university from them and get more insight into what it's going to be like to be a student there. You might even be able to swap school exam and coursework horror stories, which is always a good thing.

Want to find out more about post-application open days? Universities are generally well-stocked with info on their websites. To see what's on offer at Kingston head here, check out their courses or visit their Getting Ready site for more info on preparing for student life.