How to get the most from university open days

25 Aug 2022

By Evan Jones 2 mins read

As open day season approaches, we’re helping future graduates ask all the right questions to get the most out of their day.

As we approach the pointy end of the school year, it’s time to start thinking about next steps. And that means university open days.

August and September is when it really starts to ramp up for Year 12s thinking about tertiary education. University open days are a great way to start getting a feel for where you might like to study, and you can head along even if you’re a couple of years away from graduation.

 So what should you expect to get out of open days, and how should you approach them? Let’s take a look at what exactly open days are, how best to plan your day, and some things you should keep in mind when visiting a university open day.

University open day is your chance to ask questions, see the campus firsthand and work out whether or not it will be right for you.”
Nav Phokela, Accel iQ Tutor

What is a university open day?

Universities are huge institutions and they’re always looking to attract new students. With over a million students at 43 universities around Australia, it’s a competitive field. One way that universities can spruik themselves is with an open day, at which the doors are flung open and anyone can come take a look around.

Open days are designed to show off the courses, campus, social clubs, facilities and graduate successes of a university. Even if you’re planning on studying online, attending an open day can be a great way to delve a little deeper into the courses, lecturers and potential futures offered by the institution. Remember, a university open day is your chance to ask questions and see the campus firsthand and to work out whether or not it will be right for you.

 Things to do at open day

 There’s a lot to see and do at open days, but here are a few things to look for:

  • Course sessions: Hear in detail about what studying your prospective course is like, including subjects, workload and graduate outcomes. Bonus tip: keep an open mind and learn about some adjacent courses too. Many universities offer similar courses, often with very different entry requirements, so keep this in mind.
  • Take a tour: Particularly if you’re planning to study on campus, it’s a great idea to take a tour or two and see as much as you can. Look through the lecture halls, laboratories, libraries, amenities like gyms and cafes, sporting grounds and, if you’re planning on living there, accommodation. Be comprehensive – this is your chance to look around so make the most of it!
  • Talk to current students: Open days are a great chance to speak with those that are already studying and to get their insight. Ask a lot of questions: what’s the course like? How’s the campus? Where do you get a good coffee? Where do the graduates work? Anything that might sway you one way or the other.
  • Find out more about applying: Not every course or university has the same admissions process, and open days will give you the opportunity to find out more about entry scores, fees and scholarships. 

Planning for open day

Open days are big, busy and often overwhelming, so it’s best to go in with a plan.

  • Where are you going? The first step is to make a list of universities that you’re considering and put their open days in your calendar. See the heading below for more info on how to find open days.
  • What are your priorities? Think about big picture ideas like where you want your course to lead, but also think about what little things could make your study journey a positive one. Do you want to join the football team or try out for the theatre troupe? Do you prefer classes in the morning or need to access the university via public transport? It’s okay to be picky!
  • Make a list. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going and what you’ll prioritise, make a list of everything you need to see and do there. Everyone will have different priorities, so it’s best to go your own way.
  • Reflect on your experience. Particularly if you’re trying to narrow it down between a few institutions, it’s a great idea to write down some notes or ideas after the day. This will help you compare your options and guide your decision-making.

How to find open days

Uni open days generally start around August and September, but each institution has its own calendar. Plus with mid-year intake and some universities offering trimesters (that’s three uni terms per year), it’s best to plan in advance.

 A comprehensive list of university open days, sorted by state and territory, is available at the myfuture website. For institutions that aren’t listed, it’s best to check their website directly. 

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Want to learn more about our Physics, Chemistry and Maths tuition programs? Get in touch with our team today to learn more about how HSC tuition can help set students up for exam success.