Lissie Cork is the Schools & Colleges Liaison Officer for the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education at Anglia Ruskin University. Lissie helps to organise the faculty’s events, such as open days for prospective students. She uses this blog to offer some advice on how you can discover your potential university even more.
As most people are aware, there is a huge amount of time, money and hard work that goes into getting a university degree. Not only do you have to arrange funding to make sure that you are fully supported financially in your time at university, but you also have to spend an average of three years of your life studying in order to achieve what you started out to do. Because of these factors it is so important that you go to the university that is perfect for you, and open days are a great way of doing just that!
All universities host open days throughout the academic year, where they invite potential students along to visit their campuses to get a taste of what life is really like at that university. You’ll be able to find out more about the university itself, its lecturers and current students, accommodation, your subject area, student life and lots more. Typically open days are for undergraduate students (those who are looking to study for their first degree). However, some universities, such as Anglia Ruskin, welcome postgraduate students at dedicated events for those who are planning to study for a more advanced qualification.
Open days will give you the opportunity to explore the university itself to see if you think it’s right for you. Throughout your degree you will spend the majority of your time on campus, studying and socialising, and so feeling comfortable in that environment is key. During a campus tour, you will not only get to see where you will be studying but also the accommodation options. I’m not going to lie: some student accommodation can be quite dire, where your comfy bed and big room at home is a long-distant memory… But on the other hand, some universities’ accommodation is nice, spacious and modern. For those looking to live on campus, the tour is a really helpful way to discover your potential new living space and make sure that you’re happy with it.
If you’re unsure which course is most suitable for you and are umming and ahhing between a couple, open days will be particularly beneficial. Lecturers from various courses will be on hand to discuss their subject areas with you, which will hopefully make your job of picking your course a lot easier. If you know exactly what you want to do, this is an opportunity to understand your chosen field a bit more, and discover what you may get up to in your first year.
Universities also tend to have current students available for you to talk with at open days. For example, in the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education at Anglia Ruskin, we’ll have students from courses such as midwifery
, nursing and social work
around to offer support and advice Our students will give you their honest opinion on our courses and their studies, as well as their experiences of student life and the university itself.
Life at university is not all about your studies, of course. It’s also about making friends and discovering new and exciting things to get involved with. Open days will highlight what else is on offer at a university in terms of activities and socialising. There will be various stalls showcasing facilities such as the Students’ Union, clubs and societies, student finance and careers. Here at Anglia Ruskin, we also hold personal statement-writing workshops to help you put together a great statement for your application.
The feeling that most prospective students get while preparing for university is a cocktail of nervousness and excitability. One way you can manage that nervousness beforehand is by attending an open day and getting to know the university a little better – so pop along to your soon-to-be university and take a look! If you’re interested in attending an open day at Anglia Ruskin, there’s more information at the bottom of this blog.
- Plan your route. Open days tend to get extremely busy and the university may not offer any car parking, so it’s vital to organise your travel beforehand. Park and Ride services or public transport might help you to avoid traffic.
- Listen and talk to current students. What are they saying about the university?
- Look around the university. Does it suit you? Would you fit in there? Remember that this will be your home for the next three years, so it has to feel right.
- Bring along some family or friends. They’ll be a huge support to you when you start your course, so it’s a great idea for them to come along and see where you’ll be studying.
- Take a campus tour. These are usually run by student ambassadors who will show you all the places to be: where teaching takes place, where you can eat, where you can hang out with your new friends and where you may live.
- Make the most of your time at the university. Get involved in activities and find out as much as you need to in order to make this important decision about your future.
- Don’t make any judgements until you’ve been to a university. You’ll definitely discover something new at an open day!
Want to come to an open day at Anglia Ruskin? Here are our dates for the rest of 2014.
Saturday 27 September, 10am-2pm
Saturday 18 October, 10am-2pm
Saturday 15 November, 10am-2pm (Cambridge only)
Wednesday 19 November, 4pm-7pm (Chelmsford only).
To book your place, visit our open days webpage.