Why Open Day isn’t just for school leavers

Do you think Open Day is just for teenagers about to finish high school?

While there is no denying that school students find a lot of value in Open Days, it is a misconception that they are the only ones who will benefit from attending. University isn’t just for teenagers – you’ll find a lot of mature students attend too. So why should Open Day be any different?

Whether you want to discuss undergraduate courses or explore your postgraduate options, Open Day can help.

There’s a good chance that, if you’re considering going to university, you have discovered there is an enormous amount of information available. Not only are there hundreds of courses on offer, there’s a myriad of universities, ever-changing course requirements, admission pathways, different ways to apply – you’d be forgiven for getting a little overwhelmed.

Amelia Munro, ACU postgraduate and non-school leaver study expert, spoke to us about why Open Day isn’t just for school leavers.

“If you’re considering study, Open Day is a really valuable event for you to attend – even if you’ve left your teen years long behind,” said Amelia.  

It’s hard to know where to start

While institutions try to make it easy, the truth is there is a lot of information to communicate to anyone who is thinking of applying to university. And with that information comes some puzzling tertiary terminology.

“I find that if you’re considering postgraduate study, or you’re looking to go to university but you finished high school a while ago, you may have even more to gain from Open Day than some Year 12 students,” said Amelia.

“The reason for this is most Year 12 students are constantly getting information about how to go to university. They have universities visit their school, tertiary admission centres sending them information, school trips to study expos, and guidance counsellors handing them course brochures and drilling them on application deadlines.

“The average adult isn’t quite so lucky. Whether you’ve been raising a family or are in the workforce, you’re unlikely to have spent much time reviewing the latest news from the tertiary education sector. It’s understandable that it’s a bit of a mystery – and why it can seem a fairly daunting process. 

“By going to Open Day, you can run through everything you need to know in a single conversation with a study expert. They’ll go through anything that’s confusing you, and clearly outline how to apply as well as share important deadlines and fees.

“Basically, you can spend hours Googling, or you can have a 15-minute conversation at Open Day.”

Talk to the staff

Trying to decide what and where to study isn’t easy – but meeting the academics and lecturers can help you make your decision. Opportunities to talk to teaching staff throughout the year are few and far between, but they will all be available to talk to you at Open Day.

“Meeting with the staff is one of the best ways to find out if a course or institution is the right place for you,” said Amelia. “They know the courses inside and out, and can give you rich information about units, placements, timetables, assessments, research and career opportunities. 

“You’ll also get a feel for what the lectures are like. As your teaching staff are the people you’ll be interacting with most at the university, it’s helpful to meet them before you commit.”

Get a feel for the campus

Exploring the campus is another benefit of attending Open Day. Each university campus is different – different location, facilities and vibe.

“Visiting the campus is the only way to really get to know the facilities, and Open Day is the best time to check them out,” said Amelia. “You’ll be able to join a guided tour that will show you all the important places on campus. Plus the university will open up labs, specialised teaching spaces and classrooms – many of which aren’t always open to the public throughout the year.

“It’s also the best way to check out the atmosphere of a campus. It may sound strange, but this can make a big difference to your choices.”