Experience an Open Day

In the previous Step we mentioned Open Days are a good way to find out more about your chosen university. You can talk to current student and lecturers in your subject area as well as getting a feel for the place to help you decide whether you can see yourself going to that university. Watch our 360° video to gain an insight into what an Open Day looks like.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

If you’re booked in for an Open Day, follow our top tips to get the most from your day:

  • Leave enough time to travel: Open Days are busy events. Planning your travel in advance will help you get to your destination in plenty of time.
  • Plan what you want to do: View the Open Day programme and create a personalised timetable for yourself. See under ‘Downloads’ at the bottom of the examples.
  • Contact the university about accessibility needs or special requirements: Do this in advance. Many places will do their best to provide an accessible environment for everyone.
  • Include general talks in your day: There are lots of talks throughout the day which will include topics such as student finance, careers, accommodation, study abroad opportunities and much more. Work out what you want to know more about to help plan your day.
  • Head for the main space/hall hosting the Open Day when you first arrive: Check-in and explore all that the University has to offer, including subject areas and support services.
  • Visit subject departments: Meet and chat with staff and students from the courses you might like to study.
  • Attend our ‘Why Study…’ talks: These talks provide you with an introduction to studying your subject of interest at the university.
  • Join a tour: Explore the campus and the wide range of accommodation options with a student-led guided tour.
  • Chat with current students: Find out about university life, including social, sporting and extra-curricular activities.
  • Prepare questions: Note down any questions you want to ask before arriving.
  • Take a break: This is a packed day, try and take small breaks and don’t forget to have lunch. Universities will open up their cafes and restaurants for you to take advantage of.
  • Visit the city/town centre: Explore the surrounding area where the university is based.
  • Have fun: Remember to enjoy yourself.

It’s highly recommended to attend Open Days, but we know it might not be possible for everyone. Don’t worry, there are plenty of other sources which you can take advantage of. You came across one in the previous Step – where you can speak to current students via a chat platform. Here are some more options to consider:

  • Look at student reviews (see under ‘see also’ for some review sites).
  • Take a virtual tour of the uni. Try [Reading’ virtual tour to see what one of these looks like.
  • Another option is to watch uni tour videos
  • Follow your university on social media.
  • If you have questions about a course or the academic side of things, you can contact lecturers directly.
  • Visit universities on a different day to an Open Day if you can’t make it on the set days.
  • Reducing the number of universities you want to visit might make the Open Day option more achievable.

Have you already been to an Open Day? What advice would you give to another student who hasn’t attended one yet? What advice would you give to someone who isn’t able to make any Open Days?

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Take plenty of notes as you go along and try and get all your questions answered. It’s also worth taking your own photos of the day to serve as a reminder.

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This article is from the free online course:

Live Smart: Your Essential Guide to Living at University

University of Reading