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Alternatives to open days

Alternatives to open daysCan't make it to an open day? Here are some other ways to get a feel for a university.

Visit independently

Open days aren't the only time you can look around a university. Most universities are happy for prospective students to visit at other times. However, you'll miss out on things like campus tours, and you're unlikely to see things like the inside of halls of residence.

If you're planning to visit a university when there isn't an open day, it's worth contacting the university and the department you're interested in first. This way, they'll be able to warn you if there is likely to be a problem with the date you are planning to visit, and advise you of how to make the most out of your visit.

Remember to allow time to look around the town as well as the university itself.

Look online

Universities are making more information available online all the time. As well as looking for basic information about things like accommodation and courses, many offer interviews with current students and information on wider facilities. It's also worth checking whether the university has a YouTube channel: you may be able to find videos of the campus, facilities and accommodation, or watch recorded lectures.

You don't have to restrict yourself to resources provided by the university. You could look around the town using Google Street View, for example, or find honest opinions from current students on forums like The Student Room.

Go to a university fair

At university fairs or UCAS conventions, representatives from universities across the country gather in one place to give prospective students a chance to find out more about the places they are thinking of applying to.

While a university fair doesn't allow you to experience the university and its surroundings directly, it does allow you to get your questions answered directly.

Find out more on the UCAS website.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about a university or course that aren't answered by their website or prospectus, don't be afraid to get in touch. It's usually best to contact the admissions department: they will be able to pass on your enquiry if necessary. If you have a course-specific question, you might want to contact the relevant department instead. You should be able to find contact details on the university website.

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