In order to make the most out of an open day it is important for your child to plan in advance what he/she would like to get out of the day as open days are very busy and there won’t be time to see and do everything. If possible arrive early- the start of the day will be one of the quietest times and so not only will you hopefully avoid hold ups on the journey to and from the university (something which may be a particular problem at campus universities), but also your child will be more likely to be able to speak in detail to academic staff who may be much busier later in the day.
Planning a visit
When planning an open day visit your child should look at the information that the university provides ahead of the open day (usually online) and decide how best to use his/her time on the day. Some universities require visitors to book for talks or tours in advance and if this is the case then it is worth booking early as certain activities will be especially popular. Your child should also obtain a map of the campus and university buildings and make a note of which facilities (e.g. library, students union, sports facilities etc) he/she wishes to visit, as this will help to make the most of the time on the day.
On the day
One of the most important parts of an open day is the opportunity for your child to visit the department that he/she is interested in applying to, so remember to leave ample time to have a good look around and for your child to speak to the academic staff and current students about the content and structure of the course. The open day may be the only opportunity for you and your child to view the accommodation that is on offer, and so you should try to look at a number of different accommodation options so that you can see the differences (location, catered or non catered, en suite or shared bathroom etc) between the types of accommodation available.
Open Day checklist
When attending a university open day we would recommend that your child ensures that he/she:
- Visits the academic department that he/she is interested in and attends any relevant talks and tours
- Views as many accommodation options as possible
- Visits the Students Union stand or building in order to find out more information about the range of societies and activities available
- Visits the Student Finance/Funding stand or building to find out about any scholarships or bursaries that are available, and how to apply for them
- Visits the library (students will spend a lot of time at the library!)
- Visits any sports or arts facilities that they may be interested in
- Takes the time to visit the local area to get a feel for the wider environment and what is on offer locally
- Talks to as many staff and current students as possible about course content and life at the university
- Talks to Admissions about entry requirements and personal statements
As a parent we would recommend that you:
- Attend any parents’ talks
- Attend any finance talks
- Visit the funding stand to find out more about student loans and grants (especially any funding support which is specific to the institution)
- Visit the security talk/stand for more information on safety and student well being while studying and living away from home