Making the Most of an Open Day

Imperial College London - Campus Shots R1 - 20 - 08 -2013

My Top Tips for getting the most out of your visit

In all of the chaos it’s easy to get lost and forget about what you need to find out from open day. Here are some of my top DOs and DON’Ts, that helped me to get through countless open days when I was in yr 12 and 13.

Before the Open Day:

  • DON’T attend with people who you feel might try to influence your opinion of a university, at the end of the day, you will be the one studying at the university and so it’s important that you feel comfortable at the university, not your friends or family.
  • DO write down a list of questions in a book or on your phone so that you can tick them off as you find out the answers during the course of the day. This will also help you decide what to see during the day. If you don’t hear the answer to a question, ask a student or member of staff, they are always willing to help!
  • DO plan your whole day in advance. Think about how you will travel to the open day. Will you need to book tickets or accommodation? Can you share costs with a friend? What do you want to see during the day? Make a timetable so you know exactly where you need to be at what time, and can book any talks in advance.

At the Open Day:

  • DO try to visit accommodation. Remember that academia is only one side to university life. Make sure you get to know the location of your university. What is the accommodation like? Is it affordable? How will I get to university from my
    halls? Would I like to live here?
  • DON’T rush your visit, try to make enough time to look around the university and the town or city it’s in. Make sure you get a proper feel for the place, as this could be where you live for 3/4 years or longer.
  • DO ask current students a
    bout what their experience has been like. After all their response will be the truth and might effect how you feel about the university.
  • DO take note about exam or coursework structure of a course as if exams are your thing you might like to consider whether a coursework heavy course is right for you and if you will enjoy the constant assessment.
  • DON’T only consider just one course. Many courses share similar components and first years, then allow you to specialise in second year, for example most engineering programmes at Imperial or the similarity between the Maths and Physics courses.

After the Open Day:

  • DO make notes of how your day was, once you visit a few different open days you’ll forget which was which. Write down the pros and cons of the university. How did the niversity make you feel? Did you feel like you would fit in? Can you imagine yourself there?
  • DO think about whether you can achieve the academic standards required for the course at the university. Set yourself goals to make sure you can reach the academic standard required before exam season.
  • DO get in touch with the university if you have more questions, it’s best to find out what you’re getting into before committing to anything!


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