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    Is it important to visit medical schools on open days? I mean at the end of the day where you apply comes down to your grades, ps, UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT etc. Does it look back if you get invited to an interview and they ask if you have visited the university and you say no?
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    (Original post by polerat)
    Is it important to visit medical schools on open days? I mean at the end of the day where you apply comes down to your grades, ps, UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT etc. Does it look back if you get invited to an interview and they ask if you have visited the university and you say no?
    It's not going to affect your likelihood of getting in, but it's still important. There is only so much you can find out about a university from what's said about it on paper. You really need to visit the department and the location in order to gauge whether you think you'd be happy studying there.
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    As Plagioclase says, it won't affect an application in any material sense but it would be foolish to pass on the opportunity to find out what the university is like. You're going to be there for 5-6 years for medicine, studying one of the most demanding undergraduate courses you could. Surely wouldn't you want to at least have a look around and the opportunity to speak to current students to be able to make a fully informed choice?
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    (Original post by polerat)
    Is it important to visit medical schools on open days? I mean at the end of the day where you apply comes down to your grades, ps, UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT etc. Does it look back if you get invited to an interview and they ask if you have visited the university and you say no?
    I hadn't visited any of the universities I applied to - to be honest I think many universities are the largely the same and you can find out a lot just by talking to people and reading on websites. If you have some idea of where you'd like be (in a big city, on a campus, not too far from home etc.) you can choose some which match that and hopefully still fit with your UKCAT/GCSEs/A levels, and as you've said these are most important as to where you apply.

    Maybe visit one or two departments just to have an idea (for me I wanted to see what university was like so I visited Leeds and didn't even apply there) but you'll never be asked if you went to an open day, and there's not much point going to an open day and loving a university only to find out that you don't have the GCSEs needed for an interview.
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    Nice to get a feeling for the area you will be learning in. Remember as a med student a lot of the time is spent off the university campus and in various hospitals in the surrounding areas. So it is nice to see what the area is like.

    Open days are also a great time to ask more specific questions to staff or students. I really recommend going along where possible.
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    I would say it is important. My daughter found the places to be very different to how she thought they would be from the prospectus. Also, she gained more of an insight in what they were looking for and some reassurance about the interview process etc. Pkus, I think iy makes it seem more real, something to aim for.
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    Don't think it really matters for interviews. You can find out plenty about the university and the city from the internet. If you really get pushed at interview about whether you've visited (which I think is unlikely), easy enough to find a compelling reason why you couldn't attend an open day, and then talk about how you've researched the university and city, you're impressed by its reputation, you've spoken to current students, etc.

    I think it depends how open minded you are about spending 5-6 years in a place you've never really visited. If nearer the time you only get one medicine offer to a place you've not really visited, will you embrace it and enjoy it even if on reflection it's not somewhere you like so much, or will you have regrets for not having visited the place and decided you didn't like it before you applied? Most years there are a couple of threads from applicants who've got offers from unis they actually decided they don't like so much but it's their only offer and they don't know what to do. If you're the kind of personality that wouldn't be too bothered about that then no problem.
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    (Original post by polerat)
    Is it important to visit medical schools on open days? I mean at the end of the day where you apply comes down to your grades, ps, UKCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT etc. Does it look back if you get invited to an interview and they ask if you have visited the university and you say no?
    Nothing will really happen if you don't go. However, it is better to attend so you can get a feel of how it's going to be like.
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    I never attended any open days either as I didn't feel it would make much of a difference to my application process - I knew there were certain medical schools that I should apply to, to give me the best chance of an offer (in terms of GCSEs, UKCAT etc) and I didn't think an open day would change that.

    I guess if you have the opportunity it might be nice to visit a few places but for me personally it made no difference.
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    I take the slightly controversial view that open days aren't that useful. Its only one day (or more accurately a few hours) so you're never going to get a true feel for the place, students and staff you talk to will be inherently biased, and most unis look the same anyway. Tbh your decision is probably more likely to be influenced by how sunny that particular day was, or how attractive you found the person showing you around.

    I'd say go to one or two. That's enough to find out what uni is like and dispel any misconceptions you might have got from your school/online research. In fact I'd probably go very early, like the year before you apply, as that's when that kind of info is most useful. From there extensive online research is the way forward.
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    Remember that most international students won't get the chance to visit unis before applying either. It would be kind of discriminatory if the unis favoured people who had visited
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    (Original post by Ghotay)
    Remember that most international students won't get the chance to visit unis before applying either. It would be kind of discriminatory if the unis favoured people who had visited
    We openly discriminate against internationals anyway though. :erm:
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    We openly discriminate against internationals anyway though. :erm:
    Do we? I was under the impression that universities preferred them because they give the uni so much more money.

    And anecdotally I know a few stories of internationals being allowed to stay at uni in circumstances very similar to ones that led to home students being kicked out
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    (Original post by Ghotay)
    Do we? I was under the impression that universities preferred them because they give the uni so much more money.

    And anecdotally I know a few stories of internationals being allowed to stay at uni in circumstances very similar to ones that led to home students being kicked out
    Well perhaps yes, but on a national scale we openly have a quota of how many internationals medical schools are allowed to take. If that's not systematic discrimination then I don't know what is.
 
 
 
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