Looking around the universities you might go to can feel daunting, or exciting, or you might not know where to start. An open day is the ideal way to start!
On an open day you go to a university and basically see what it’s like to be a student there. You can usually look around the campus, have a look in halls, meet the lecturers and current students, find out about the courses on offer and go to student life talks. It helps you to make a decision as to whether this is the right university for you. Most people get a gut feeling when they’ve found the university that is for them, they just know.
There’ll be pros and cons to everywhere you visit. It is really helpful to bring family or friends along to help you weigh them up but at the end of the day it has to be your decision. It will be you spending the next few years there and you’ll want it to be the best few years it can be.
Here are my top tips on how to make the most of open days:
1. Make a plan. There will be lots happening on campus on the day so take some time when you arrive or before to look through the schedule and see what appeals to you. Note the talks you want to attend and have a rough idea what you want to get out of the day.
2. Look around the campus. Our campus is smaller than most, but that’s what makes it so special. It has a real family feel to it. You can walk from one side of campus to the other in less than 10 minutes and you probably won’t be able to do so without seeing someone you know or smiling and waving. If it’s sunny, take a break outside on the Quad enjoy the green surroundings and get a feel for the place.
I work as a Student Ambassador at Plymouth Marjon University. At our open days you can book on to a campus tour on the day. These are led by current Student Ambassadors who give you an insight from their experience. Our tours include a look around the accommodation and you’ll see inside the Sports & Health Centre. It has amazing sports facilities, and this being a small university you get lots of hands-on opportunities to use them. Wherever you go, check what access you get to the facilities on show, when and how would you get to use them as a student there?
3. Speak to current students. Look out for current students working as Student Ambassadors on the day and have a chat with them! You can ask them anything or just have a chat about what’s it’s like to be a student there.
4. Speak to lecturers. Ask them about the course, ask what makes it stand out from other universities and the opportunities that you can gain. Find out about contact hours, class sizes, what the modules are, what work placements are available, future jobs, anything you want to know about a course.
5. What’s on the doorstep? If you have some time, look around the area. At Marjon the city centre is about 15 minutes away with regular buses. In the other direction we have Dartmoor with scenic views just 15 minutes walk away and lots of beautiful beaches around.
6. Ask lots of questions! We run talks and workshops all day long so go and find out more information. If you don’t want to ask in front of everyone, note any thoughts or queries throughout the day and find a quiet spot to talk through it all with someone: a student, a lecturer or staff member. Don’t leave any question unanswered!
7. Make some notes. It might be quite a full on day, especially being in a new environment and you might be looking around a fair few universities and you’ll need to remember them all.
When going to university open days see if you can imagine yourself studying there, make the most of the day and enjoy it! The next open days at Marjon are on the 7-8 June, find out more and register online. If you have any further questions, then get in contact with us as we’ll always be happy to help.
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