Open Days are an opportunity to answer any questions & find out everything else you need to know about university before you enrol. We’ve put together 5 tips for online Open Days that could help you get the most from these virtual events.
Online Open Days – think of the benefits
You might be feeling a little disappointed that you can’t get to the campuses in person, but there are benefits to online Open Days too.
Check out more options than you might have otherwise since you won’t have to travel and you could even attend different events on the same day (as long you register for them).
Say you miss out on the actual day, or you don’t catch all the information first time around, or you’d like to revisit information later to help you make up your mind… well you can. Online Open Days often have lots of recorded information sessions and tours so you can watch the videos even after the event is over.
You won’t have to worry about early starts, traffic jams, navigating through cities, finding parking spots or what to wear.
What to expect from online Open Days
Online Open Days are probably new to most universities too, but there’s no doubt they’ll be working hard to provide you with all the information you’ll need as well as the details you haven’t yet thought about.
Information could include:
- A tour of the campus and facilities (maybe even the city or surrounding areas)
- Get shown around the departments you’re interested in studying with
- Take a look at the accommodation options on offer
- Find out about each university’s strengths and unique points
- Meet and chat to staff (teaching and admin) and current students
- Talk to experts about courses you’re interested in, learn more about them and find out where to download information to read through
- Explore your study options and career outcomes
- Find alternative courses that might suit you better
- Learn about the application process
- Look at alternative entry pathways
- Get answers to specific questions you might have
- Finance options including scholarships, welfare, and more.
5 Tips for Online Open Days:
If you’re not sure where to start, then here’s our top tips to help get you started and ensure you get the most out of all that online open days have to offer.
Get organised before the event
Find out which uni’s are having online open days – decide which ones you’d most like to attend. Make a note of the dates and register (you might not be able to get access on the day if you don’t).
Make sure you have a quick read of any introductory emails you’re sent. These will ensure that you know which platforms are going to be used and how to access them. Plus, they could help you plan your days and be more prepared when the open day rolls around.
Note down the courses and departments you’re most interested in for each university, it could help you stay focused when the event starts and ensure you don’t miss the most useful bits.
Put time aside in your calendar for these events, so you double book yourself or skip them in favour of another offer.
Prepare your questions
Take some time to write down any general questions you might have, these could be relevant to every university and you can ask the same questions at each open day. Then you’ll easily be able to compare the answers later.
If you have any questions about specific courses – make a note of those too.
You can ask questions about any aspect of university life, so it’s great to make the most of this opportunity (if you forget to ask something or you think of something later don’t stress – you can contact the uni afterwards).
Having a mental block about what you should be asking? Here are a couple of example questions that might inspire you:
- How many places are available on the course?
- How many hours a week are there of lectures etc., and what’s the recommended amount of self-directed study?
- What study modes are available for this course (on-campus, online, or mixed)?
- Will this course provide any hands-on industry experience e.g. work experience or internships?
- What exactly does the course cover and what are my career outcomes if I complete this degree?
- Can you recommend another course that might be a better fit for me and my goals?
- What assessment methods are used?
- I’m looking at similar courses elsewhere, so why should I choose your course over another university?
- Is there any academic support available?
- Are there part-time job opportunities available at the uni, or would it be possible to complete this degree whilst working part-time?
- What societies are available at university and which are the most popular ones?
- Is a place in halls guaranteed?
- What’s the best way to get around the campus and city?
- What student support services are available?
- Which is the most popular accommodation option and why?
- What’s the social life like?
Don’t be embarrassed to ask any questions you’ve got, that’s what this experience is all about.
Watch the welcome talk first
You might be tempted to skip the intro or welcoming talk and head straight off for the campus tour or find out more about the department you’re interested in.
But we’d recommend taking the time to watch this bit first. They’re designed to answer some of the questions you might have about the uni, let you know about their special features and qualities, plus they could give you some tips about the best way to get the most out of their Open Day, where to find more information and much more.
Deciding on a the right uni and course for you is an important step, so dedicating some time and your attention to these events will mean you’ll get more out of them and could help you to make the best choice.
As you watch the welcome talk, take notes – highlight the bits you really don’t want to miss out on such as talks or tours that could be the most interesting and informative for you.
Do take the virtual campus and accommodation tours. It’s not exactly the same as being there but with amazing technology like 3D and 360° footage you could get a really great sense of what the university is like. The bonus is that you may get to see some areas that you might not have had access to in person.
Universities are selling themselves on open days so there’s bound to be some great videos, presented in a fun and easy to understand way, there may even be interactive segments too. Watch and participate as much as possible and you’ll probably get much more value from your experience.
You could even ask your parent / carer, sibling or friend to watch with you, then you’ll be able to discuss it with them afterwards.
It’s good to talk
Take part in any webinars, Q&A sessions, or sign up for other options like one-on-one zoom chats. Or, use the live chat features to engage with staff and current students. You’ll sign off satisfied you’ve got every ounce of information possible and that ticked off all your questions.
If you don’t get first-hand information you’ll at least be told where to find relevant information on their website (it’s not always straightforward finding exactly what you’re looking for).
You could take note of any phone numbers or email addresses that might be handy if you have more questions later on.
Once you’ve attended an Open Day – decide how you feel about what you’ve seen.
Love it? Great, add it to your list of preferences and start thinking about getting your application ready.
Hate it? That’s OK too, cross that course or uni off your list.
Still not sure? Put it on your maybe list. If you don’t fill up all your preferences, then you can come back to these options and reassess them later on.
Looking for more information?
At Study Work Grow we aim to make your life easier, so we’ve done all the research for you.
Check out out Open Days page, you’ll find online events listed and updated in our events calendar, or you can download our Open Day Guide for 2020 with all the universities, events, dates, times and links listed – it’ll be coming out soon.
Have a read of JCU’s FAQ’s about Online Open Days to get an idea of what you can expect from attending a virtual event like these.