What are open days?
First thing’s first - what is an open day?
Well, basically a university open day is an opportunity for any given uni to show off their facilities to prospective students like you. It’s their chance to wow you with their campus, and get you excited about the prospect of studying there.
It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions, explore the campus, experience a lecture, get helpful insights from current students and even talk to staff.
Not that this should sway your decision making, but you might even be able to lay your hands on a few goodies or freebies to commemorate your open day experience, so keep an eye out!
Other big advantages of attending an open day include - fully understanding where the university is in relation to its surrounding area, and if it’s important to you or you’re considering commuting - its distance from your home. You’ll also get a genuine feel for the campus and its atmosphere. Remember, you’ll be spending the next three years of your life there, so it needs to feel right for you.
What’s an Offer Holder’s open day?
Some universities will hold additional open days exclusively for the students they have made offers to. It’s a more tailored experience, and provides an opportunity for you to visit the uni and ask specific questions about your course before making your decision on results day!
OK, how do I book my open day place?
Now you know what an open day is, how do you go about booking one? And why can’t you just show up without making a booking?
Well, some of the events available on the day will have limited space or seats. So it’s really important that the uni knows exactly how many people will be attending in advance, and have the ability to close booking once all spaces are full.
Particularly with the global pandemic, knowing exactly how many people will be attending in-person events is more important than ever. So please don’t just show up unannounced - you might get turned away!
Open day places tend to sell out quickly, so make sure you get in early with your booking. One option when looking to book an open day is to visit an individual university website and complete their online booking form.
Typically, the uni will have a list of their open day dates and you select one. Then you select your prospective level of study, the subject area you’re interested in, and the number of people in your party.
Once you’ve filled all that in you’ll have to add a few personal details and let the uni know whether you need parking or additional accessibility - and then you click submit!
If you don’t like the sound of searching for individual unis and navigating their (sometimes not the most intuitive) websites, you can access open day databases like events.springpod.com where you can search for unis and see a list of upcoming events all in one place.
What if I don’t book my place in time?
If your open day of choice sells out before you manage to book in - don’t worry. There are usually more than one date you can attend, and if you contact the uni directly they may even organise a private tour for you. In any case, certainly don’t disregard a uni you like just because you missed the open day!
To sum up - don’t leave it too late, book your place and enjoy the start of your uni experience!