It is Open Day Season!
With Open Day season beginning at the end of July and going on throughout August, it is time to start planning. Of course, with the pandemic and Covid-19 Lockdowns happening at the moment, Open Day may well be virtual as it was last year. It all depends on where you are and what is happening in your area. And many tertiary providers have both Virtual and face-to-face options on offer.
So check websites, follow health and government instructions and stay safe and well!
But putting pandemics aside for a moment, if you are in Year 12 in 2021, now is the time to start planning your open day visits.
July/August is open day season at Universities and TAFEs and it is really important that you put aside some time to attend - either virtually or in reality.
The following are some FAQ's that I am asked all the time so I can answer the biggest ones here and if you need further questions answered then of course contact me
'What is open day?' You may well wonder.
Open days are a great opportunity to see what a University or TAFE has on offer and it gives you a chance to explore as part of your research into what to study after year 12.
You can talk to academics, current and past students, lecturers and tutors about all sorts of things such as: course offerings, course structure, exchange programs, clubs and societies, student support programs, the size of the university/TAFE, the numbers in each class, what people like and dislike about it, accommodation, sporting facilities, career programs, industry links, possible jobs at the end and so on.
'Why do I need to go to Open Days?' I hear you ask. Good question!
There are many reasons. Here are a few to get you started:
you can have a look at where you are going to spend the next two to five years
you can talk to current and past students about what they think about the place
you can find out if they have the facilities you need
you can ask about their work experience/placement programs
you can find out about exchange programs (Covid willing of course!)
you can learn about the structure of their courses and how you will learn
you can work out how to get there and if it is possible by public transport
'What is the best way to prepare for Open Day?'
Here are some ways to prepare:
The first thing you need to do is check for open day dates on University and TAFE websites or go to the VTAC website open day page
Are you going to go to the campus or attend virtually?
Select those Universities/TAFEs that have the courses that are of interest to you
Put them in your calendar and block off a few hours for each one
Plan to go early if you are attending on campus - before all the crowds
If you are planning to attend on campus make sure you allow travel time
Work out how you will get there - check public transport and/or talk to your parents about options
Ask someone to go with you. A friend? A parent? A sibling? An aunt or uncle?
Make a list of questions to ask (see below for some example questions)
Make sure the University/TAFE you are attending has the course you want to study. (VTAC CourseSearch can help you with that)
'What should I do on the day if I am able to attend?
Here are some ideas:
Get there early
Take someone with you for support
Have a list of questions ready to ask
Get a good campus map and 'show bag' if they have them on offer - there is often a student ambassador on hand to help.
What if it is virtual?
Well on the bright side, you won't have to worry about travelling and organising someone to go with you and it will mean less time spent on the day so you can get back to your studies
Register for virtual open days with tertiary providers of interest
Have your questions ready and ask them and take notes of course
Attend the virtual tours
Be prepared for open days so you can make informed decisions when putting in your preferences in August/September.
So how to do your preferences? Another great question I am asked regularly.
I will be writing about that soon so watch this space.
In the mean time, enjoy exploring and make the most of Open Day Season!