8 things you need to look out for on a uni open day

Attending open days is an incredibly important part of choosing a university. Although the uni may look great in the prospectus or on the league table, it can be hard to get a true feel of it without actually going there in person. So what should you look out for on a uni open day?


Current students

It’s great if you can have a chat with any current students. How they speak of the university is an important indicator and can often be quite telling. Asking them why they chose the university, if they enjoy their course and if it meets their expectations are all great questions that can help you decide on a uni. Of course, they may well have a different experience than you would, but it can still be a useful measure.

Student Union

Make time to have a look round the Students’ Union on the open day. A large popular student union which the students are proud of is a good sign as it shows that the uni listens to their students and cares about their entertainment. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of food places to eat and any supermarkets.

Facilities

Good facilities are vital to any university. Pay close attention to libraries, sports facilities, societies and career services. Ask if you can have a look around your relevant subject library; you’ll most likely to be spending a good amount of time there so ensuring that it’s spacious and kitted out with books is a must. Plus, don’t forget to pay attention to the number of plug sockets – trust me, you’ll be needing them when you’re stuck in their with your laptop all day.

Staff

Ideally, you want friendly university staff that will help make your time at uni that bit easier. Whether it’s a nice receptionist or a cheerful lecturer, a smile goes a long way.

Mental health support

Having a good mental health support system is so important at uni; according to YouGov, one in four students suffer from mental health problems. Even if it might not ever be relevant to you directly, the chances are that you’ll have friends who will need a healthy support system. A strong service shows that the uni cares about their students’ wellbeing.

Course content

This goes without saying. The course content is incredibly important when it comes to choosing a uni. Of course, the main details are probably in the prospectus, but asking the course leader further questions in person can be very beneficial. It’s a chance for you to engage with the staff directly and you can find out extra details such as how exactly the course is assessed and any optional modules on offer that aren’t mentioned in the prospectus.

Halls

You’ll most likely be staying in Halls in the first year, so taking a look at your future digs is pretty important. Ask if you can have a tour so you can check everything out including the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom! Additionally, if your Halls is out of town or away from campus, find out if the uni provides any free transportation to the main campus or the city centre.

Atmosphere

Finally, consider the atmosphere of the campus, accommodation and university itself. What’s it like and how does it make you feel? You can get such a good taste of university life from just walking around the campus. If the atmosphere doesn’t appeal to you, then there’s no point in considering the university.

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