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How to get the most out of an Online Open Day

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Over the past year, we’ve all seen the benefits of technology and keeping in touch online – Zoom quiz, anyone? From shouting ‘You’re on mute!’, inspecting your friends’ tastefully organised bookshelves and being overly familiar with your colleagues’ décor, we’ve all spent more time than ever participating in online meetings and meet-ups.

We’ve also benefitted from online events; many events which normally require some form of travel and involve large groups of people coming together – including university open days – are now regularly taking place online. While this means we are missing that vital face-to-face interaction, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re missing out – it’s just different.

There are actually some great benefits to online events; for example students who may have had to travel quite a distance to visit a university (potentially up to five universities) can now do it all from the comfort of their own home, saving on travel expenses to boot. Some people may struggle to attend open days if they are anxious in social situations – an online event means they can look around at their own pace and can be confident that they can find out the information they need without worrying about meeting new people in an unfamiliar setting.

Plus – there’s nothing quite like looking around your future university while still in your pyjamas, tucked up in bed!

What does an Online Open Day look like?

Online events should be interactive, engaging and user-friendly – nobody wants to go through a complicated sign-in process to then find the event on the other side is flat, boring and unhelpful.

At the University of Sunderland, we do our best to pack our Online Open Days with plenty of interesting and relevant content to keep you clicking, ensuring you get just as much information out of the experience as you would do at an on-campus event. We run a range of different Open Days throughout the year, including undergraduate events, postgraduate events and even specialised subject Open Days, so you can attend an event that is specific to your needs.

We also keep it simple when it comes to signing up – just head to our Online Open Days page, hit the register button and complete the form. We’ll then send you an email with the link you’ll need to visit the Online Open Day – please note the link will only work on the day of the event, and for up to two weeks after.

If you haven’t attended one of our Online Open Days before, they look a bit like this:

You can look around at the Online Open Day however you please, but if you need an idea of how to get the most out of your day, consider putting these activities on your list:

  • Meet the Vice-Chancellor: Hear from Sir David Bell KCB, who will be welcoming you to our Online Open Day via a video message
  • Find out ‘Why Sunderland?’: Read more about the University of Sunderland and the city of Sunderland
  • Learn more about your course: Click on one of the subject blocks on the main page to find out more about the course you are interested in; there are videos to watch, podcasts to listen to and articles to read – plenty to get stuck into!
  • Attend a live talk: Check out our programme of live talks, dedicated to specific courses
  • Chat to our students and staff: Chat to current students and the academics teaching your subject through their online profile
  • Discover Student Services: Don’t forget to head back to the main page and learn more about our Student Services at Sunderland, including Student Financial Guidance, Wellbeing, Disability Support Service, Sunderland Futures and much more
  • Next Steps: Before you go, watch the Next Steps video to find out what happens after you’ve attended the Online Open Day; how to apply for a course, other events you could attend and how you can keep in touch with us
  • Let us know your thoughts: After you've attended our Online Open Day, we would love to hear how you found it: what you enjoyed, what you would have liked to have seen and anything you think we could do to make the experience better! You'll find a feedback form on the event page  

No Bots, just chat

We pride ourselves on being one of the most inclusive universities in the UK, that’s why we think it’s important you still get the human touch at an Online Open Day. We always have our Ambassadors to hand to help you at any point during the event, and yes – behind that profile is a real person! Every single one of our Ambassadors either works or studies at the University of Sunderland so you can be sure the person you’re speaking to has real experience of the University, the campus and the city of Sunderland itself.

You may have questions about the course you’re interested in, so you may wish to strike up a conversation with a member of staff who teaches on the course or a student who is currently studying that course (they are the ones who can tell you what it’s really like!). We also have staff from our Student Services on hand, to answer your questions about your student journey: Got a question about your application? Our Student Admin team will be online. Want to know more about how your student finance works? Our Student Financial Guidance team will be ready and waiting to answer your questions. Confused about how the Online Open Day works? Ask a member of our Student Recruitment team who can help with any general questions and point you in the direction of the information you need.

Finally, if you attend one of our live talks, you will get to chance to speak to staff in the same way you would if you were attending an on-campus event.

Live talks

As part of the Online Open Day you’ll get the chance to attend one of our interactive live talks. Our talks vary, from course-specific talks, to Student Life sessions, and you can hear from our lecturers and current students.

We use Microsoft Teams Live to run the talks, but don’t worry, you don’t need an account to join – simply click on the link provided and it will open in your browser. All attendees will have their camera and microphone disabled, but there is a Q&A function available for you to ask any questions you may have. Ask about specific entry requirements, facilities, opportunities available to students and anything else that’s on your mind. We love seeing your questions and we try and get through as many as we can.

See you soon

Of course, nothing can beat getting a proper look around at your chosen university and meeting your new lecturers in person, and now that we have a vaccine and a roadmap back to normality, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. So, when everything gets back to normal, we can’t wait to welcome you back on campus – there’ll be a cuppa ready for you when you get here.

Learn more about studying at the University of Sunderland by joining one of our Online Open Days and see for yourself what Sunderland really has to offer.

Published: 25 February 2021

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