College Life Editor Laura Smith looks at the questions to ask at open days.
Heading to college either next year or the year after? Stuck on what way to approach the scary scene of college open days? Here are some tips and questions to ask to make the most out of the college open day.
1. Get the college prospectus.
By looking at the particular college and their prospectus this can give you a lowdown on the course you want to study. The prospectus usually includes information on modules you will study over the study of the course, student’s views on the course, whether the course includes placement/intra and the course points from this year. This is a great insight to know if the modules you see in the prospectus fancy your liking and make you want to do the course. These can be available online or on the open day.
2. Check out the facilities/ services of the college campus.
A good thing to check out is the facilities and services offered on campus. Does the college have an on campus doctor/ nurse? Does the college have a gym or counselling services? These things are just the little bits that can make one college stand out from the rest. Any service is good during your course of study and it’s good to get to know them before you arrive in September.
3. Get in contact with current students on that programme.
This is one of the bets things you can try and do at college open days. Try and find yourself talking to either a current student, the head of the programme or a lecture. This will give you first-hand information on what to expect from the course. Nothing will put you more at ease knowing that college isn’t that daunting after all and you can overcome the Leaving Cert and make it out the other side.
4. Ask yourself: Do you get that ‘College atmosphere’ from the open day?
This might be a hard one to explain but sometimes when you’re talking to students about college open days they just straight away receive this ‘college atmosphere’ and know this is exactly where they want to study. If you do get this great feeling from the college open day you’re doing well but if you don’t see yourself studying in that particular college for any reason don’t settle for anything as this is your future.
5. Bring your friend/parent/guardian with you.
Nothing is more daunting that going into a place you have never been before or when you don’t have a clue around the place to bring along a friend or whoever for moral support and also a second opinion is also really ideal too.
6. Take notes.
Bring a copybook and pens with you to take down any emails, people’s names or information you get on the day. It is overwhelming and a lot of things can go over your head so by simply taking a few notes you can look back on when filling out your CAO/ college form.
Questions to ask at college open days:
- How many years is the course?
- Any other extra requirements required for this course?
- Is there placement/ an internship done during the study of the course?
- Is there any student accommodation (on or off campus) nearby?
- If we are stuck with an assignment, who can we go to for help?
- Is study abroad an option and would it count towards the degree?
- What kind of jobs do your graduates go into?
- What clubs/ societies are on campus?
- Is there any financialsupport available?
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