We are close to January, which means booking for open days will be made available for everyone thinking of applying to the University of Leicester. Also, if you have already recieved an offer to come study here and are looking to visit the campus and your chosen department, the university also holds UCAS visit days between January and April. The dates vary with the department you have applied to study with. Keep an eye out for the dates for the open and UCAS visit days on the university website.
Open and visit days are a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with staff and students to know exactly what you want to know about the academic as well as social life surrounding university. It is also a great opportunity to meet fellow candidates and make freinds! I have prepared a list of questions that you could ask at open and visit days in order to ensure that you get the most out of those couple of hours that you spend on campus. A handful of these come from my experience working as a student ambassador for the School of Business during UCAS visit days earlier this year.
a) About applying for the course
A lot of this information will be on the website and/or the prospectus. However, application procedures and entry requirements vary across different courses. Therefore, it would be a good idea to ask about anything that you think has not been covered on the website and/or prospectus. It would be helpful to ask about what options are available to you in case your final grades do not match the university’s grade requirements. How do they feel about gap years and do they accept deferred entry applications? What do they believe makes a perfectly successful personal statement? Do they require work experience in order to be eligible to apply for a specific course? These are just a few questions you could consider asking. You could also ask if they offer a Study Abroad option and if they do, what assistance is provided to the student on behalf of the university?
b) About career prospects
You’ll be surprised by how little of a thought candidates give to this particular aspect. Knowing how the course can benefit you in the long-term serves as a crucial factor for deciding whether or not you should opt for that degree course. You could ask them for real life examples of students who have successfully accquired a job after graduation. You could also ask how the university assists in making you more employable. Do they have a Careers Development Service? Do they arrange for graduate placements or internships? Do they run job or careers’ fairs throughout the course to help students meet and make professional connections with prospective employers? Do they offer and/or recommend a Year in Industry?
c) About the life as a university student
University is going to be very different than all your previous experiences. It is but natural that you will have a lot of questions about it. Don’t hesitate to ask student ambassadors about anything and everything, even you think it’s a little silly. Ask how they personally feel about certain things such as what do they feel is the best and worst part about university? How do they balance their finances? What are the nights out like? What is the city like? Is private housing safe? How to confront a noisy flatmate? What are the course and teaching facilities like? Are the tutors approachable? How can you join a club or society? Can you get involved in volunteering? What support does the university provide in order to find part-time work? Where are the best places to grab a bite?
The potential questions are endless! There is so much you can ask. The people at university are there to help you out. But you must also do your own homework. Go through the website and prospectus thoroughly and prepare a list of the questions you have in mind beforehand.
Have more questions to add to this list? Leave them in the comment section below and share it with everyone!