How to make the most of an Open Day

This advice page has been provided by University of Portsmouth

How to make the most of an Open Day

Open Days are a brilliant opportunity to experience university life first-hand. Lots of talks will be going on throughout the day, like presentations on courses and subject areas. These are a really good way to find out more about studying your chosen subject, or you might get inspired by something totally new! Student Housing and Student Finance talks mean you can start figuring out how it all works, and you’ll be able to look around the different halls of residence to get a feel for campus living. Most universities offer a full campus tour, guided by the students who know it best.

Do your research

Make the most of your visit by planning ahead. Book your preferred Open Day date to secure your place. Most universities will send out an information pack a week or so before your visit. This should include instructions on the easiest way to get to the university as well as a full list of the talks and tours taking place, so it’s a good idea to bring the pack along with you.

Make a note of the talks and tours you would like to attend beforehand – and mark down which buildings these are taking place in to avoid a last minute rush! Open Days often attract a large number of potential students and their families, so remember to allow enough time to get between buildings and arrive at your talk on time.

Ahead of the day, write down questions you would like answered. Things like – how much does it cost to live in halls? Are there opportunities to study abroad? What clubs and societies are on offer? University Open Days will often have a Student Information Fair where you can speak to the different support services such as Wellbeing, Admissions, Sports, Students’ Union and many more.

More information about your visit is often given out when you check-in, so make sure you find out where and when you need to do this.

Meet our students and staff

An Open Day is a great way to find out more about a university from those that really know it. Speaking to current students, staff and lecturers will give you a real sense of the university and what it’s like to study there, something that you can’t get from looking at a university guide or league table.

Current students are usually on hand to speak to you, so make sure you ask them any questions you have about what it’s like to study there. They will be able to relate to how you are feeling and offer tips and advice on how to make the decision that’s right for you. Don’t miss the chance to ask them everything you want to know – it wasn’t long ago that they were going to Open Days themselves!

Make time to visit the department that you’re interested in and tour the facilities where you’ll be studying. Course talks or taster lectures will give you an idea of exactly what your course will be like, and what opportunities it offers.

Feel that it’s the right place for you

Once you’ve seen the campus, viewed the halls and spoken to staff and students it’s important to find out what life outside of the campus is like. Where are the local bars, cafes and shops? Are there good parks nearby? You’ll be spending a lot of time in and around the city, so it’s important to see if you can imagine living there.

Open Days are all about experiencing life at university. It doesn’t matter how good a university looks on paper, you need to feel that it’s the right place for you to spend the next three years of your life. An Open Day really is the best way to experience the atmosphere, energy and character of a university, so make sure you get your place booked in soon!

Book your place at an upcoming Open Day at the University of Portsmouth

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