From Plato’s Academy to the Golden Age of Arabic Scholasticism, from Oxford to the Sorbonne to Harvard and far beyond, grand universities and centres of learning have long stood as one of the gold standards of civilization. A great university is a source of pride in any city where one is built. Even in our evermore online age, universities remain the focal point from which so much of the intellectual and ideological evolution emanates throughout the world. Attending a great university is one of the great intellectual and personal adventures in any lifetime.
All of which makes choosing the right one the choice of a lifetime.
To that end, here are just a few things you can (and should!) do, along with some questions you should ask, when taking advantage of university open days.
Take in the Campus
First and foremost, you’re going to want to use your open day to take the opportunity to tour the campus. You wouldn’t buy a home without inspecting it thoroughly beforehand and getting an idea what living there long-term would feel like. Open days should be approached with that same spirit. Whatever university you attend is going to be your home for a good number of months out of the year for a few years to come. You need to feel comfortable and at home there.
As such, you’ll want to take this opportunity to see how life on campus looks and feels. What do the grounds look like? What are dorms or nearby student housing options like? What are some of the cultural elements of life on campus? And what about the location of the campus itself – what’s the neighbourhood like? From taking in the lush greenery of the grounds to getting a taste of student life, open days can be a great way make sure you pick a campus that looks and feels like home.
Tour Classrooms and Labs
In addition, you’ll want to take this opportunity to tour the actual centres of learning on campus. If you are looking to major in the sciences, for example, you might want to take a look at the different laboratory areas on campus, or see what type of scientific programmes and resources the university has. If you are majoring in English or the Humanities, you’ll want to check out the lecture halls, music centres, and theatre with the same goal in mind.
In the course of your travels across campus on open days, you may think up some questions. Provoking questions and curiosity is, after all, one of the prime functions of any great university. As such, you’ll want to take this golden opportunity to get those questions answered by students and faculty. What is student life really like? What are classes like? You can ask students and teachers these questions and more, gaining invaluable first-hand knowledge of the university as a whole from those who know it best.
Discover a place of higher learning which suits your needs by taking full advantage of open days.