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Why you should attend a university open day

22 September 2016

You might know which university you want to study at from the get go – maybe because of its reputation, location or course (or even all of these) – but it’s important to visit before you commit otherwise it might not meet your expectations when you arrive and you’ll be less inclined to stay on there.

Most universities, including us here at Wrexham Glyndwr University, host several open days throughout the year so there should be a date to suit you. If for some reason you can’t visit, some universities offer personalised campus tours and talks that you can arrange with the university at convenient time.

It’s not always possible to visit every university on your desired list but I would suggest you visit your top three if you can. I know several people who put down particular universities as their first choice – some purely because of the nightlife (but mainly it was about the course) ­- and when they visited an open day they completely changed their mind!

What does an open day involve?

Most university open days will be held on weekends – although some run weekday events too. Although weekend open days won’t give you an exact picture of what the university is like during the week, it is a great opportunity to see the facilities on offer, chat to academics on the course(s) you are interested in studying as well as student finance and support teams about loans available to you to fund your study. You will also probably be able to see where you could be living as most universities do tours around student halls. There will more than likely be current students on hand to talk to as well.

So if you’re attending a university open day, here are a few tips:

  • Firstly, look at the university’s prospectus or their website to see if they do the course you want to study. It’s pointless visiting a university if you are certain you want to study a particular course that the university doesn’t offer.
  • Plan a timetable for visiting universities as sometimes they can be on the same day.
  • Book your place on the open day – most universities will have an online booking form on their website. Once you have booked on an open day, the university should send you more details and a schedule for the day – including when and where to arrive as well as details about talks and events you may want to attend.
  • When you get to the open day, make sure to register when you arrive. On registration, you will be more than likely be directed to relevant talks and areas of the university, often guided by a student or university representative.
  • Take a notebook and pen to make rough notes at presentations, lecturers, tours etc and take some pictures. These will all help to jog your memory when you have visited several university open days!
  • Ask lots of questions. You are there to meet – and interrogate – the people who will create your university experience. Some suggestions include: How good are the social facilities on campus, how much self-study are you expected to do on this course, what facilities does the Student Union provide, what’s good about living in the area….
  • If you have time, go off campus and take a look at the university’s surroundings – the nearest town or city.
  • Write down before you leave what you like about the university and what you didn’t like.
  • Open days can be overwhelming with lots of information to take in. Once you get home and have time to reflect and do some more research about the university and course you want to study before making your final decision.

If you are interested in attending a Wrexham Glyndwr University open day, you can find our list of open day dates and more details about what to expect from one of our open days on our website.


About the author

Antonia Jones

Antonia Jones

Antonia graduated in journalism and worked a decade in local and regional news media before joining Wrexham Glyndwr University as digital communications manager.

To get in touch with Antonia please email Antonia.jones@glyndwr.ac.uk

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