So, you’re considering going to university. Visiting as many Open Days as you can before you make your decision about where to study is a great idea, because they help you make much more informed decisions. They allow you understand what life is really like at that particular university, they give you the chance to learn more about the courses that you're interested in, and you also get to ask lots of questions to the university’s students and staff. There is so much to consider and plan for when visiting an Open Day and it can get a little overwhelming. So, I am going to give you my top tips for getting the most out of these Open Days, to hopefully make things a bit easier!
1. Plan your journey
Planning your journey is very important and highly recommended, especially if you're visiting a city that you have never been to before. Knowing which route you are going to take, or what mode of transport you will use will give you less stress on the day, meaning you can give the Open Day your full concentration. For universities like Leeds Beckett which have two (or more) different campuses, make sure you know which campus the event is being held on. Also, consider if you will need to travel between campuses, and think about how you’ll do that. Hopefully, by having this all pre-planned, you’ll start your day off as smooth as possible.
2. Ask lots of questions
There's a lot you need to find out about a university before you commit to moving there for three or more years! The best way to find out about an institution is to do plenty of research online and study the prospectus, and if you’re missing any information after doing both of these, then ask lots of questions at the Open Day. Not all of the questions that you have may be covered online or in the prospectus, that's why there are loads of staff and students on hand at Open Days ready to answer any questions you may have. You may be tempted to just ask the course leader and the student course ambassadors questions, but try to grab others too, to get a variety of view points. Make a list, and try to make sure you get all of your questions answered - the more you know, the easier it will be to compare universities afterwards and justify your choices.
3. Explore the campus and accommodation
I’d really advise that you go on a campus tour, and visit a few of the university’s accommodation options. Doing this allows you to see more of the university campus and what facilities it has – including things like gyms, libraries, restaurants and recreational spaces. These are places that you might overlook in the excitement of an Open Day, but they’ll be really important when you’re a student at at the university. Also, really take in what the accommodation is like and where it is. It’s also worth looking at a few different priced ones, so that you understand the difference. They may just surprise you. These tours will really help you to get a feel for the places you will be spending a lot of your time.
4. Explore life outside of the campus
If you have time, I would highly recommend visiting the areas around the university campus. If possible, book your return train for a few hours after the Open Day finishes, or put quite a few hours worth of parking on your car. Go into the city and visit the shops, or grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants. As you don’t spend every single minute at university, it is important that you like the location of the university, and life outside of it.
Choosing the university for you is a massive decision with lots to consider. Hopefully I have given you some helpful tips to ensure you get the most out of the Open Days and make the right choice. Don't forget, if you want a second look at a university before making it one of your choices, most places will allow you to do campus tours outside of the usual Open Day schedule. Leeds Beckett is happy to do this, all you have to do is ask. Good luck with your Open Days and making your choices!