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Monday 10 March 2014

Tips from an alumna: Applicant open days

Graduate associate and former Solent student, Dana Chirila explains why you should attend a Southampton Solent University open day


It’s that time of the year. You’ve probably been invited to a few applicant open days by universities that made you an offer.

When I was going through all of that I just couldn’t see the point in visiting the same campus twice. I’m about 99.99% sure you are thinking the same thing as your inbox slowly fills up with THOSE emails. I actually ended up going because my mum pestered me endlessly and today I can’t find a single reason why someone wouldn’t want to attend one!

With that being said, there is an element of hassle to it but, hey, when you’re making a decision like this you will be far better off doing your research properly. From my experience, here are a few points about applicant open days:

  • It’s where I met my course leader and decided he should teach me everything ever! There’s no nicer feeling than finding someone who has similar interests to you but knows infinitely more than you and is ready to share that knowledge.
  • I met some of my future course mates during my applicant open day. So, not only do you get first pick at your uni friends but you’ll also find the first week of your degree to be much easier with familiar faces around.
  • You actually take part in exciting course activities instead of just listening to a presentation. I got to use all those fancy facilities and equipment they keep advertising in prospectuses and pretended to be a student for the day! This gives you a taste of the course and what it will offer you for three years so be prepared to ask lots of questions.
  • You can send your parents to one of the presentations dedicated to them so you can run off with your new friends and do some cool things (see above!). Believe me, they will want to know everything from funding to accommodation so this will be an enjoyable time for everyone.
  • You get to meet current students on your course of interest. These guys are the most likely to know what your fears and expectations are and how to they compare to the academic reality.

I think that in the end you get to see heart of the place and the people. Being there either feels right or it doesn’t. But you’ll never know unless you drop by.