Open Days: A Taste Of Your New Home
As many Leaving Cert students head off to open days over the coming months here are a few tips for getting as much as possible out of your visits.
Why Attend An Open Day?
You can read the prospectus from cover to cover and do plenty of research online but an open day is the only chance that you will have to look around the place where you could be spending the next few years of your life.
A particular university, college or course might sound brilliant or completely uninspiring on paper … but speaking to a lecturer or student already doing the course or feeling completely at home on the college campus could change your thinking completely.
Open Day Essentials
- Plan Your Day
- Have a general look on the college’s website, and make a note of anything you particularly want to see (not just on the Open Day programme)
Plan What Questions To Ask
- Attending an open day can be a waste of time if you don’t ask the right questions so it’s important to think beforehand about what you want to find out.
- Preparing a short list of questions you want to ask staff and current students can be really useful to have to hand to quickly check during your conversations and keep you focused
- familiarise yourself with the range of courses available, make a list of the courses you are interested in rather than just focusing on your first choice – it’s good to explore all your options
Talk To Academic Staff and Lecturers
- Find out what the course is really about
- Don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions – it’s important to find out as much as possible so you can decide if the course and careers it might lead to are for you
- You might listen to staff and students talk about another subject and completely change your mind about the direction you want your career to go in
- Talk To Current Students
- Make the most of the students you meet and ask them lots of questions - they have all been in your situation and are likely to be forthcoming and helpful.
Make Notes & Take Photos: this will help remind you of the day
Explore The Campus
- Go on a campus tour and have an informal look around yourself too
- Check out the teaching facilities, library, sports and social facilities
View Student Accommodation
- Go on a tour of the halls of residence
- Find out what your options are, not just in the first year but after that
- Find out how much it will cost
Explore The Local Area
- Go off campus: Walk around the area outside the college or university and see how it feels
- Go into the town / city centre for something to eat (if you’re not already a local!)
- Ask current students where they like to go, and have a look if you can
Find Out What Sports & Societies Are Available
- They can be a great way of making friends when you first get there, and you might be able to pick up a current interest or find a new one
Visit the Students’ Union
- Have a look at 'what's on' guides to get an idea of what student life is like on campus
Things You Might Overlook On An Open Day
- For example the computer labs, the library and study areas – how much space is there? When are they open?
- Is WIFI available throughout the campus?
- Have a look at the college’s intranet site if there is one
- No college / university is perfect; all will have their pros and cons
- Reflect on all you’ve seen and learnt on the day
- Think about what aspects are most important to your decision about where you'd like to
Read the latest edition of Griffiti, Griffith College’s Student Union magazine
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Griffith College Sports Scholarships 2015/16 – applications open December 2014
Blogger: Lydia Casey