Going to a university open day is your chance to see past all the “marketing” that universities do in their prospectus and on their website. Of course universities always present themselves in the best possible light, and an open day gives you an opportunity to see whether they live up to the hype.
Some universities have open days where any prospective student is invited to attend and look around. Others prefer to wait until they have made offers and only invite those students that they have offered a place to. These are usually known as “Applicant days”.
At a university open day you’ll have the chance to see the facilities that the university has to offer, view the student accommodation, talk to students and staff, and really get a feel for what university life is like.
Some open days are more structured than others. You might be placed in a group with other applicants and have guided tours or you might be allowed time to explore by yourself. You might also be able to take part in sample lectures and see demonstrations or examples for current students' work.
Choosing which university to go to can be really difficult and it’s good to get as many opinions as possible. Asking friends and family to talk through your options with you can make things a little clearer in your mind.
This is why universities allow you to, and even encourage you, to bring a friend or family member with you when you visit for an open day. Having someone else there to give you an impartial can help you weigh up the pros and cons of each university.
A friend or family remember might also remind you to ask important questions or be able to remember vital information that you’ve forgotten in the excitement of the day.
You’ll need to book a place on any open day you attend so if you’re not sure whether you want to take someone or not then it might be worth booking a plus one in anyway.