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How to get the most out of an Open Day

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If you’re thinking about university, it’s likely that one of the key things on your list is attending Open Days. But what should you look out for on the day? We caught up with Student Ambassador, Maisie Aveston, who tells us how to get the most out of an Open Day:

“Open days can be a little overwhelming when there is so much to see and big decisions to make. So here are my best tips to make you feel a little more prepared when it comes to scouting out different universities:

Refreshments of course!

"If you’re like me, then you may have travelled quite a way to attend this Open Day. That means the first stop is the all-important refreshment stand to refuel yourself with a quick coffee or pastry before you dive into all the Open day activities that await you. Most universities will have free refreshments, so you don’t need to worry about bringing anything with you."

A tray of small baked muffins

Attend a campus tour

"After refreshments, a great way to begin is with a campus tour. A university’s campus is a huge part of your university experience and I think it really helps you to gauge if you can imagine yourself studying there and whether the environment is right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the tour! The tour will be led by university staff or maybe even current students, so they will be able to give you an insider’s perspective on what it’s like. After the tour you are always free to return to areas at your own leisure if you want to check something out in more detail. I would also recommend getting out and experiencing the wider area outside the university if you aren’t familiar with it. For example, is it based in a town or city? What shops/restaurants/bars are there? What public transport links are available? Is the campus near the coast or more in-land? All important things to consider!"

A group of Open Day visitors walking across campus on their way into a building

Meet your course staff

"Our next stop is to meet your faculty staff and check out your subject facilities. This is an important one because this could be who will end up teaching you when you start your course. Now is the perfect opportunity to meet them and ask them any questions you may have about your course. You may also get to view past students' work or see a demonstration of state-of-the-art facilities. This could be what makes one university stand out from another, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in!"

A member of staff delivering a tour to a group of visitors who are standing listening to what they are saying

Accommodation tour

"If you’re considering moving away from home, an Open Day is your chance to view a university’s accommodation in person. Most universities will have a range of accommodation available ranging from studios to shared flats, en-suite to shared bathrooms, so it is important to have a think about which ones most interest you. Once you know this, go check it out on an accommodation tour. It’s always helpful to see what you're getting for your money; is a cleaning service provided? What do you do about a TV licence? If you’re unsure about anything, it’s likely you’ll be able to find the answers to your questions on a university’s website – for example, here is Sunderland’s accommodation information."

Exterior shot of Panns Bank


"After taking in all that new information and walking around, I’m sure you’ll be just about ready to head home. However, make sure to take advantage of all the freebies before you go! University Open Days often have freebies, from tote bags to ice creams, to pens! After all, once you start uni you’ll need all the stationery you can get!"

A large pile of tote bags with the slogan It's Warm Up North printed on them


"In all seriousness, you deserve a pat on the back for even just attending an Open day. They can be a big step in making decisions about your future and I wish you all the best. If there are any questions that you forgot to ask at the Open Day or you think of later, don’t be afraid to get in contact with the university afterwards. I’m sure they will be more than happy to help!”

Book your place

Great advice from Maisie there! To find out more about the University of Sunderland and what we can offer you, book your place at our next Open Day. If you need a little more persuasion, check out our reasons to come to our Open Day.

Published: 5 September 2022