Do you really need to attend an Open Day? Turns out: Yeah!

It’s a natural next step for many to head to university after they’ve finished up with their high school studies. But, while it might be a little tough deciding what you want to study, for some, choosing where to study is even more difficult.

There are a lot of things that could ultimately affect your decision, like: Which universities have even accepted you? Which uni offers the courses you’d like? How far away are they located? And are they pretty enough for the ‘gram?

What better method to weigh up your options than to do some good ol’ fashioned research. The easiest way to do that? Open days.

So, let’s break down why you should bother going to university open days, starting with the obvious questions…

What even is it?

Open Day is basically a day focused on opening up the university to high school and mature-aged students, and to answer any questions they might have. Heaps of volunteers will be on campus, and they’re trained to answer all your complex questions like, ‘Can I study a combined degree of medicine and creative arts while part-time?’ or ‘How late does your library stay open?’

Monash Business School’s Deputy Dean of Education, Professor Robert Brooks, tells Student Edge that their Open Day “definitely isn’t a stuffy occasion.”

“You can come along at any time you like and try out one thing or a dozen,” he adds.

“Even if you’re still a few years away from finishing high school, Open Day is a great opportunity to take in the variety of possible study paths available; some you might not have even considered.”

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But, why should I go?

Professor Brooks says Open Days are about “‘kicking the tyres’ and asking the questions to the people that know best.”

“In the same way that you would never purchase a car without driving it first, it’s crucial to take a look at the campus and facilities you’ll be spending three, four, or in some cases five years at, before making one of life’s biggest decisions.”

Besides, it’s a great way to find out how to get around uni, and to see if you like the physical campus and all its amenities. You’ll also see if the academic and professional staff are friendly and, importantly, whether they offer exactly what you’d like to study.

You’ll even get the opportunity to meet other like-minded people who might be starting at the university the following year. Getting a headstart on friends at your new university is a major plus.

Will I need to make any major life decisions on the day?

Definitely not. As Professor Brooks says, “It’s about gathering knowledge and, at a minimum, getting yourself a sausage or a Keep Cup while you’re there.”

“We make sure there are plenty of [people] for future students to talk to—current students, past students, lecturers and senior academics—to get real-life advice and support from those that have, and are, experiencing it firsthand. We’ve [also] got a range of interactive events planned; chances to participate in a state-of-the-art market simulation game and plenty of info to take home to help you make decisions later.”

Can I bring my parents?

You’re more than welcome to. In fact, many interested students will bring their family or friends.

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As Professor Brooks advises, “Your parents or friends might think of a question to ask that you hadn’t considered and they can be great sounding boards as you walk through the Open Day.”

Okay, when is it?

Well, most Open Days tend to be during August and September to give you enough time to consider your options. For example, Monash University’s Clayton and Caulfield campuses hold their Open Day on Sunday 4 August, from 10am to 4pm. They also have a Business Open House at their city location on Sunday 11 August. So, don’t fear, there’s still time to sort out your Open Day schedule.

Remember, as Professor Brooks says, “Depending on what you choose to study, you’ll be spending a lot of time on campus so it’s important to be somewhere that feels comfortable for you.”

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