University Open Days can be intimidating at the best of times, especially if it’s yours or your parents’ first experience of university. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right university open day questions.
I’ve been there, done that, and now I’m heading back to open days for my postgrad. Here are some questions that I didn’t ask the first time around, but definitely will be this time!
What does a normal week’s timetable look like?
This is SO good to know, especially if you’re starting your undergrad and don’t know the structure of a university timetable. Between lectures, seminars and placements, it can be really complex.
How much of this course is taught online?
Since Covid, I’ve already been to a few open days that have revised their timetabling, leaving some of the lectures online. Whether this is for reasons of class sizes, necessity of it being in a classroom or otherwise, it does make you think.
Although this ‘blended learning’ approach might be great for some people, cutting commute times and making childcare easier, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. As someone who did half of their degree online, ask yourself: You’re still paying the full fee, so are you getting the full experience? It’s surprising what sitting in a room of likeminded people can do for your productivity compared to sitting in bed.
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How many students in an average year?
Open days are meant for this kind of question. This is something that would be good to know when considering how much individual attention your tutor will be able to give you; what group projects there are that count towards your grade, and how much competition you will have for placements.
On the subject of placements (if your course has them) – what’s the furthest distance that you would have to travel?
This is really important to know, particularly if you’re moving away from home, or don’t intend to take your car/drive at university.
If you DO have a car: Are you able to bring it to campus? What is parking like?
Although you will get an idea of this on the open day itself, this is crucial to know.
If you have a car at university, you very quickly gain God status. You will become the designated driver, the shopping picker-upper, and the moving in-and-outer. However, having a car at university without a parking space isn’t so great.
Parking issues at universities are notoriously bad, whether that’s the availability of spaces or the financial side of things. Don’t forget to factor these in.
What have previous students gone on to do after graduating?
You’re usually onto a winner with this question, as it will show two things.
A) What students have actually gone on to do after graduating.
B) The level of passion that the lecturer has for the students, giving you an idea of how you will be supported.
Are there job opportunities on campus?
The final one, which might be best to ask at the open day Student’s Union. Particularly if you’re considering part-time work in a new city, working on campus is a great way to make friends, make money, and not worry about travelling through an unfamiliar city during those ‘unsociable hours’.
Okay, now you’re ready to head to an open day. Take a look at the UCAS website to find out when your next one is!
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