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How many University Open Days should I go to?

Jul 22, 2017, by Jemma

University open days! The joys of searching for your place of study for the next one, two, three years or more. They can be quite dubious but you need to pay attention when you're there. You need to make sure that it is a place where you feel comfortable and happy beyond the academic part of university life.

So how many open days do you go to?

You’ll find there isn’t really a set amount, you may want to study a course that is niche and that only a few universities offer, so you would potentially find yourself with a couple to visit. But you could find yourself wanting to study a popular subject, which will leave you spoilt for choice and a whole different shortlisting criteria will come into play, resulting in you visiting quite a few open days.

Shortlisting your open days

If you’ve found that many universities offer the subject you want to study then you’ll need to factor what’s important to you outside of the classroom. There are a million questions you could ask yourself but some key ones to consider:

  • Do I want to stay local to home?
  • Do I want to stay in a big city?
  • Do I want to live on campus?

This list could go on and on, but by considering these factors alongside your subject choice, it will allow you shortlist events that meet your personal needs, hopefully ensuring you’ll be happier with your choice and not darting off to open days every weekend.

Two open days in one day?!

You’ve shortlisted your open days and as luck has it, two of your shortlisted universities have open days on the same day… No fear! If they’re local to each other you’re in luck, you should be able to get to both!

It’ll take some tactical planning and an early start but visiting an open day doesn’t mean you have to be there for the full 8 hours. More often than not the talks are repeated throughout the day so you could do one university in the morning and another in the afternoon. They’ll be campus tours running continuously throughout the day and staff members are about the whole time so you’ll always be able to get your questions answered.

Can I turn up on campus when there is no open day?

If you are off school, work or have flown in from another country to check out some universities, there is no reason why you can’t visit some universities outside of the official open day. If you contact the university ahead of your visit, it’s likely you’ll get your own personal tour.

Universities are open all year round (apart from the obvious public holidays and weekends) so it’s worth giving them a call, telling them what subject you want to study and ask for an hour of their time to check out the facilities. You’ll have to be considerate that your tour guide may not have all of the answers to your questions, but they’ll follow up with you with the information you need.

Beyond the open days, you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to visit the campus after you’ve applied. This gives you the chance to meet academics, potentially get interviewed and you could see yourself being a ‘student for a day’, shadowing a current student, attending lectures, workshops and eating in the university canteen.

Ultimately there is no limit as to how many open days you attend – go to as many as you need to feel confident that you’re making the right choice.