Getting the most out of Open Days
Universities, TAFE and private institutions typically open their doors to the public each year during August and September. When institutions are ‘open for inspection’, they try to convince you that their campus is the number one. However, beyond all the impressive give-aways and friendly faces, how do you work out what is the best place for you?
In the Careers Department at Loreto Normanhurst, we believe there is no ‘one size fits all’ place to study. An Open Day is one step towards deciding what is right for you and below are some tips to help you make an informed decision for your continuing education.
everyone should attend
Contrary to what some may think, an Open Day is not just for year 12 students. The sooner you visit an Open Day, you can explore your options and get to know an institution. Family members and friends are more than welcome too.
At Open Days, universities do not only advertise their degrees, but also programs that are on offer for high school students, for example, study programs, seminars, and early entry schemes. This can help you plan your senior years.
Before you go
Work out which universities offer your areas of interest. Create a shortlist of what you might like to study before you go. Some degrees are offered by many institutions, and others, the options are limited.
You can obtain a university undergraduate guide from the Careers Office listing all the different courses available for study, or make an appointment with a Careers Advisor, who can talk you through courses and other resources that will assist you.
Find out when the Open Days are taking place
All NSW institution Open Day dates are listed in the Study Work Grow Open Day Guide 2019. Check out the schedule, and ensure you ear-mark the institutions you are most interested in.
Register for any seminars and activities
Most Open Days have a jam-packed schedule, so its great to register for interesting events or download university apps so you can secure a spot. Ensure you search for talks in your areas of interest. Also, plan your transport, as the days are very popular.
Create a list of questions to ask
You will have the opportunity to speak with current students and staff. Make a list of your pressing concerns, and the aspects of study that are important to you. The questions you may like to ask might include:
- Why do you like studying at this uni?
- What study support do you provide here?
- What is the lecture/tutorial size in my course?
- What clubs/extra-curricular/sport is on offer?
- Do you offer exchange opportunities?
- What internship and professional development opportunities are on offer as part of the course, and what support do students obtain to find these?
- What are the modes of transport to get there and if I don’t want to travel, can I stay on campus?
Tips for when you are there:
- Remember, all the institutions want to you to choose their campus, so don’t be shy in asking questions – everyone will be very friendly and happy to help.
- Seek out current students and teachers, especially those in your course of interest – they will tell you the real stories of what to expect.
- Take a map! Many of the campus’s are huge, so its good to plan a route that will allow you to see the most relevant areas.
After you have attended Open Day, make a list about what you enjoyed from the day and the pro’s and con’s that need to be prioritised. Writing down these points straight after the day will help you to work through them later. Following this, have a conversation with a careers advisor, teacher, tutor or parent. They can help you think through your options and give you more information for how to move forward.
We hope you enjoy Open Day season, and remember, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to visit the Careers team or email us.
For more tips and a complete list of open days, you can download the Study Work Grow Open Day Guide 2019. Further Open Day resources are also available on the Loreto Normanhurst Careers Canvas page.
Ms Alexi Kayes and Ms Katrina Smith