If your chosen university’s open day is coming up and you’re stuck overseas, you’re probably wondering, am I really obliged to attend?
Notorious in the global education network for giving aspiring students a ‘backstage pass’ into the goings on of their selected institution, these special days are met with great excitement and anticipation.
As the Complete University Guide outlines, “Open days provide a number of invaluable insights despite the heavy marketing that surrounds them.”
A few of these invaluable insights relate to learning more about your course and meeting the professors who will be teaching you during the academic year.
Open days also give you a chance to talk to current students and hear first-hand experiences of their study opportunities so far. You’ll get to stroll around campus, test out the facilities and even apply for a tour of your future accommodation.
But, if you live far away from your chosen university and you can’t afford to fly over for a few days, this can be frustrating.
While you’re stuck at home, your fellow peers will be touring around the university grounds and getting an insight into the next few years of their lives.
But don’t forget that we live in a digital age where distance doesn’t have to be a restriction. In a world where video calls, instant messaging and live streaming services exist, staying at home doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out.
Many tech-savvy universities worldwide are now investing in virtual tours. Granting internet users everywhere a sneak-peak into campus classrooms, study spaces and living halls, you’ll have a clearer picture of where you’ll be learning.
For example, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in New England (US) has an incredible virtual tour feature on their website, complete with interactive map and audio description. With 360° angles and full-screen view, it’s feels like you’re walking around campus on a beautiful sunny day!
Another clever technique international universities are using to reach students who don’t have access to open days is through in-country representatives.
Instead of travelling thousands of miles to get to their campus, the universities are coming to you! By hiring representatives who are clued up on everything you need to know before your arrival, these schools are promoting face-to-face interaction in which you can ask important questions or seek advice.
Bournemouth University (UK) is an ideal example of the international representative method. With staff members across the globe who are willing to help you construct your application and steer you through the course process, you won’t need to invest money or time into an expensive trip to England.
— Linda Ikeji (@lindaikeji) July 17, 2018
Of course, everyone’s opinions will differ on the subject of open days. Some international students prefer a real-life grasp of their future university, while others would rather sit back and enjoy the virtual views.
Whichever option you choose, make sure your chosen school has the right support system in place, answering your queries either online or face-to-face.
And most importantly, enjoy the university preparation process!
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