What to ask at university open days

What to ask at university open daysFor many of us choosing the right university is one of the biggest decisions we’ll have to make –  no one choice is likely to have as much of an impact on our future career as this!

That’s why going to university open days is so important to help you develop an informed opinion.

It can be easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed and miss your opportunity to ask important questions – so here’s my handy guide for what questions you should be asking at university open days!

What actually happens at University open days?

When you first get to the University Open Day there is usually a talk, maybe with several speakers, followed by a guided tour.

At this stage the most important thing is to take your time, make sure you see as much as possible and take the opportunities to ask questions of your speakers and/or tour guide.

Ask questions about things that are personally important to you.  Try to go with just the most important issues or concerns you have that you want to focus on.

Make sure that when you go to the Open Day, you try to stick with someone else who is considering doing your chosen subjects.

Take into account some of the aspects of the campus

  • Are you likely to be on or off the campus for your first year?

  • What facilities might cause you a problem?

  • Transport cost in particular are quite important to look out for.

Finally think about the bottom line!

  • Would I enjoy being at this university?

  • Does it look like the kind of place that would make me happy?

Preparations to make before the University Open Day

Perhaps the most fundamental preparation to make are the logistics of your journey to University.

  • How am I getting there?

  • How long is it going to take and how much is it going to cost?

  • Will any accommodation be required?

Each University Open Day is different but preparing a set of questions beforehand and devising a simple scoring system for responses will help provide focus and, afterwards, will enable you to review your notes quickly and effectively.

What Questions should I ask at a University Open Day

You don’t need to be asking about grade requirements or whether you will get in,   University staff will not answer Questions with this type.

You need to be asking more practical and lifestyle related questions – looking at the university as a whole.

  • Would I like to be at this University?

  • Is it a campus university?

  • What are my costs going to be?

  • Are there transport issues?

  • Do I like the way the University is laid out?

At the end of the day, unless you think you’re going to be moderately happy at this establishment is unlikely you will reach the end of the course!  (Obviously, on the flip side, if you enjoy it too much you’ll finish, but your grades might not be very good!)

You also have to consider questions relevant to your subjects – look at the whole department that you will be in.

For example, if you‘re considering a degree in chemistry you would look at the department, tutors, the labs, and their equipment.

Ask the University questions such as:

  • Does the University have high graduate satisfaction rates?

  • Do Students enjoy it?

These could make a difference to whether you stay to complete and successfully graduate from your course.

Also ask about the welfare provision at the University

  • What are the welfare services like?

  • What welfare services does the University provide.

  • Do they have people you can go to if you are struggling in your first year.

  • Are there facilities such as a Health Care Centre that you can go to if you’re ill.

Making sure that these facilities are present at the University can help make you feel supported throughout university life.

Following up from the open day

When people come back from University Open days they tend to file away their notes of the day and forget about them – Not much good to anyone!

It is really worthwhile to make a conscious effort to use these notes.

When you start applying for University places it will normally be a significant period of time after the Open day. You won’t necessarily be able to remember all the things that went on.

Clear notes with a clear scoring system (like someone I mentioned earlier!) will help you immensely. When you go through your notes you will remember ‘oh yes ! I particularly liked this aspect of this University campus’, or ‘this particular service was great.’

Have you got any tips or experience of applying for University or Further Education?

Have you recently started or completed the University application process?
If so was there anything that helped you which I haven’t included above?

If there is get in touch and let me know – I’m always looking for new ways to help people get the career they want!

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