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How to make the most out of an open day at college or university

by StudyMalaysia on January 10, 2023 | Top Stories

How to make the most out of an open day at college or university - StudyMalaysia.com

Are you planning to pursue further studies and are looking for a college or university? If you’re planning on visiting an institution to meet their course counsellors or to attend its open day, find out how you can make the most out of this experience.

While some institutions are open to prospective students all year round, the bulk of activities targeted at school leavers are usually held on the institutions’ open days. From application procedures and financing your studies to faculty tours and taster sessions, open days are a great way for you to learn all about the study opportunities available at a college or university. As open days are seasonal, you’ll find that many institutions hold their open days on the same weekends or at the same time. As such, you may or may not have time to visit as many institutions as you would like, and you may not have the chance to attend more than one open day at the same institution. With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure you make the most out of an open day at a college or university.

Here’s a handy list of things you should do to get you off to a fantastic start!

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A. Mark a date to attend an open day or to see the course counsellor

Many colleges or university post up their open day itinerary way ahead. So go online, check out what they have planned for that day, and sign up (if needed) for any special sessions, talks or tours on that day. Booking a place is worthwhile especially if there’s a special event you don’t want to miss!

If prior registration is not required, it’s still useful to know what will be happening on that day. That way you can make sure you cover all the important stuff, or even plan such that you can go to one institution in the morning and to another later in the day.

B. Listen to a talk on a course

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Many institutions organise talks on their courses during the open day. If you are thinking of skipping the talk as you’ve grabbed their goodie bag (bulging with their prospectus and other freebies) – DON’T! No prospectus or programme brochure can tell you as much as a session conducted by a faculty member. It’s during talks like these that you can gain a better understanding of what to expect from a course, and just as important, what will be expected of you as a student. Plus, you’ll be able to ask questions after that.

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C. Find out your course interest @ interest.studymalaysia.com

If you are still trying to figure out which courses you are interested in, you are advised to ask the course counsellor to evaluate your career/course interest first. Alternatively, you can spend 30 minutes to take an online Course-Interest-Test (CIT) using your mobile phone or any gadget with internet connection at interest.studymalaysia.com.

This CIT is a simple, self-directed test formulated by StudyMalaysia.com that will help upper secondary students or fresh school leavers like you to explore the 27 fields of study through a series of 121 questions. The test will guide you in discovering which fields of study are a good fit for you. When you have completed the test, the system will give you the test result instantly.

STUDYMALAYSIA encourages you to grab the chance to take this unique and effective test today! Besides getting a clearer insight into what fields of study suit you best, you will also explore careers that could potentially suit your interest and abilities.

Why choosing the right course is important?

  • If you find the right course at the right institution, you will very likely be inspired to succeed.
  • Students who choose a course that matches their interest are more likely to stick with it and finish their degree on time

So don’t wait! We encourage you to take just 30-40 minutes of your time and try the CIT to discover which fields of study out of the 27 fields are a good match for you.

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D. Explore the campus

A typical campus tour would show you the lecture halls, classrooms, labs, and other teaching and learning venues. You will likely also see the recreational facilities, accommodation, library, cafeteria, and others. Unfortunately, many tours offer only a glimpse of the campus as you’ll be herded around from one point to another very quickly. To make the most out of your visit, take a little time to explore and experience the place on your own after the tour. For example, check out the library (yes – walk inside and check out the books, the facilities, and the setting!) as this is a place you’ll definitely need as a student. Also, don’t just walk through the cafeteria – sit down, grab a drink, have a snack, check out the food and its prices.

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E. Check out the accommodation

A typical campus tour would show you the lecture halls, classrooms, labs, and other teaching and learning venues. You will likely also see the recreational facilities, accommodation, library, cafeteria and others. Unfortunately, many tours offer only a glimpse of the campus as you’ll be herded around from one point to another very quickly. To make the most out of your visit, take a little time to explore and experience the place on your own after the tour. For example, check out the library (yes – walk in and check out the books, the facilities, and the setting!) as this is a place you’ll definitely need as a student. Also, don’t just walk through the cafeteria – sit down, grab a drink, have a snack, check out the food and its prices.

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F. Talk to current students

When you’re taken on a tour, you’ll likely get the chance to chat with your student tour guides. However, it could be difficult getting a blunt or truthful account from them especially if they’ve been trained to highlight the best bits of the college or university. Here’s where you need some strategy. If you’re bold enough, you could chat with some unsuspecting student at the cafeteria or anywhere else on campus. If stopping a stranger for a chat is not your thing, you need to ask some smart questions.

For example, if you ask: “Are the lecturers here good?” or “How are the lecturers here?”

Here’s a very likely answer: “Yes, they’re very good.” or “Oh, they’re very good.”

A better way to find out more about the personality or ability of the lecturers: “What was your best/worst experience with a lecturer here?” You could also ask how much time they spend participating in a sport or club. Find out where they go out in the evening or during the weekend, or how often they go home. Ask them what kinds of difficulty they’ve had to face when completing assignments or collaborating on projects.

So If you’re planning on visiting an institution to meet their course counsellors or to attend its open day, make sure you do your homework and make the most out of your day.

Psst…. Want to know what other questions you should ask at an open day? Read it here - Questions you should ask at a college or university open day

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