The Student Room Group

Are Open Days Really Helpful in Choosing a University?

Exactly, are they? Join the discussion and share your thoughts with me and your peers! :biggrin:

If you ask me, imagine buying a house without seeing it. How can you say that you have found a new home without actually seeing and experiencing it?

There are many things you will not see in the pictures or read in the description that resembles an academic essay. Is the neighbourhood friendly? How are you feeling in this house? Do the neighbours seem all right? These and other key questions will only be answered when you see the place with your own eyes.

Therefore, yes! Open Day is one of the most essential factors to help you choose a university. How? By simply allowing you to check whether the campus, the people and the city are right for you.

If you are stuck with the decision about your future, you want to check my comprehensive post on how to choose both a course and a university, along with much practical advice.

I will now explain, for those who are less familiar, what is an Open Day and what you can expect. Then, I will offer an alternative for those who really cannot participate in the Open Days for several reasons.

What is an Open Day?

Open Days are regular events held by universities to provide prospective students and anyone interested with an opportunity to visit the campus, explore the facilities, and learn about the academic programmes, faculty, extracurricular activities, and student life.

Open Days are designed to give attendees a firsthand experience of what the university has to offer! What is more, they provide an opportunity to get a sense of the atmosphere, culture, and overall student experience.

How to make the most of the Open Day?

During the open day, you can expect the following activities and opportunities. One piece of advice is to review the online open-day guide beforehand and create your own personalised itinerary, so that you can get the most from the day.

1. Take a campus and accommodation tour

Guided tours of the campus are usually offered, allowing you to see the classrooms, libraries, laboratories, halls of residence, sports facilities, and sometimes even the city.

2. Participate in subject-specific talks and taster sessions

Their goal is to give you a taste of what teaching at the university looks like, allowing you to speak to academics and current students, and get involved in practical demonstrations to give you an insight into the course.

3. Learn more about international experience programmes

A student- and development-oriented university will offer the opportunity to study, work and volunteer in locations all around the world. I have been on two academic trips abroad. Currently, I am on a year-long student exchange in Spain. So, you do want to check this out!

4. Learn more about employability support and opportunities

A good university not only facilitates quality education but also supports your professional development. Therefore, it is worth checking if a qualified careers team is available and what help they offer.

5. Check out what support is available

You will often see a variety of information stalls where you can discuss various aspects of the university that might be exceptionally important to you, such as the admission process, academic programmes, non-academic opportunities, scholarships, mental health and wellbeing support, and so on.

What if you cannot attend Open Days?

There are a few things you can do to get the best and closest to the in-person experience insights.

Check if the university offers the opportunity to connect with current students to get a comprehensive picture of it from them. Personally, I love The Ambassador Platform, because apart from the opportunity to chat with us, there is also content from our daily lives, so you can feel a bit as if you were there with us.

In addition, a well-designed Virtual Open Day or Campus Tour can serve as an almost real visit to the university. For example, De Montfort University has a professionally programmed virtual tour of the campus with additional insights from students and academics on all aspects relevant, such as university life, accommodation, and Leicester City. It really feels like an in-person visit!

One thing you need to check if the issue is economic

Universities will often have some attractive offers that will lower the costs of travel expenses. It is definitely worth checking on their websites. For example, De Montfort University desires to meet the needs of all and provides you with a chance to come and visit us at the lowest possible cost.

We offer 30% off National Express coach travel, 25% off East Midlands Rail, 10% off your hotel stay, and £5 Uber travel voucher. Check now how to make money off your journey!

I believe that we are probably on the same page now. Therefore, go and book your Open Day with DMU so that you will not miss the must-have event!

I hope it was helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Remember that you can also chat with me and other students through The Ambassador Platform.

Take care,

Julia :wink:
Psychology student
De Montfort University

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