Uni open day is your chance to find out if a university is right for you, and there’s an art to getting the most out of open days. Read on to make sure you get the info you need – not just the free merch!
Do your homework
Do a bit of background research about the courses that you’re interested in on the Faculty and School home pages.
Make a note of any questions you might have about the course content and majors so you can get a feel for how the courses will be taught.
For example, you’ll probably want to ask about the contact hours per week, the types of assessment and the balance between theory and practice.
Don’t forget that uni has so much more to offer! Make a note of any extra-curricular programs which take your fancy: competitions, industry internships, exchange programs, so you can find out more on the day.
Map out a plan of attack
On uni open day, the campus will be a buzzing hive of tours, information sessions, games and competitions, student performances and probably at least three BBQs.
Get your hands on an itinerary so you can tick off everything you want to do, but leave some time to wander around because you’ll no doubt come across something that grabs your interest too.
Campuses are often pretty huge so see if there’s an app available to help you navigate so you don’t get (too) lost!
Check out the STEM scene
The uni open day will usually have programs dedicated to STEM fields, where you can visit the facilities and talk to current students, lecturers and careers advisors.
Don’t be afraid to ask heaps of questions and talk to as many people as you can.
Make sure you swing by the precincts for the courses you’re interested in – you can get a good feel for the capacity of the libraries and computer labs and the resources that are available to the students.
One of the best ways to enrich your uni experience is by joining a student society.
On a uni open day, heaps of student societies are out in force signing up members, sharing upcoming events and giving away goodies.
Engineering, science, maths, CS, Women in Tech/STEM societies tend to attract lots of students looking for study and career support, as well as parties and meetups.
TAKE THE QUIZ
Examine the hub
The university facilities will probably play a big role in your decision.
Get a feel for the size and atmosphere of the campus. Be sure to have a look at the sporting facilities, cafes, refectories, public transport/parking and the colleges (if you plan to live on campus).
You’ll probably be spending three or four years here, so make sure you like the campus hub!
It’s so important to make sure that your uni is a place where you can keep fit, have fun and stay supported.
Drop by the student union for info about the student support services (such as study/career support and counselling), sporting clubs and societies dedicated to social events.
There are great opportunities to make friends based on common interests, ranging from movies, food, international culture, environmental/political groups and even more niche groups like manga or medieval societies!
Reflect on your mission
At the end of the day, you want to answer the question “Would I be happy studying here?” Make sure to check in with your gut feeling about the place!
And while you’re there, you may as well kit yourself out with stationery and tote bags…
Author: Larissa Fedunik-Hofman
Larissa is the editorial assistant for Careers with STEM and a Chemistry PhD student. Larissa’s goal is to promote public engagement with STEM through inspiring stories.