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Surviving Open Days | Top Tips for Parents

Surviving Open Days | Top Tips for Parents

by Judith Charlton

A university Open Day is a chance for soon-to-be-students and their parents to visit campus and experience what it’s like to live and study there. Families get the chance to find out about courses, accommodation, student support, and careers' services.

But there’s a lot on offer at an Open Day, so how should parents prepare for the day? Read on to discover our top tips for parents on surviving undergraduate Open Days…

Do parents go to university Open Days? 

Yes, university open days are free and open to both students and their parents. Some prospective students may wonder whether their parents should join them for open days at all, but many of the events and talks are targeted at educating and comforting parents as their child starts this new chapter. 

Get to know the university before you go to the Open Day

Universities are keen to engage with parents, and there are lots of ways to get in touch with them – from sending an email enquiry to online chat

So whether it’s advice on entrance requirements, finance, or simply where to park at the Open Day, find out everything you need to know in our parents guide to university Open Days before you make the trip, so your family is fully prepared for what the day will bring.

Speak to staff – not just the teaching staff!

Open Days are the one event where hundreds of staff and students get together in one place, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what it’s really like at the university.

From the staff who look after accommodation, to the academic teaching staff, they should all be happy to answer any questions. Don’t forget that a lot of those staff will have been in your position as a parent themselves, so they understand the types of concerns you may have.

Go to parent-specific activities

At Newcastle University, we offer an informal drop in where parents can have a coffee and chat to admissions staff.

Many universities offer specific sessions for parents where they’ll cover topics such as student wellbeing and careers, so it’s worth taking advantage of those. However, we understand that many parents often want to go to the same sessions as their son or daughter, so our expert staff and lecturers are ready to answer questions from parents and young people concerning subjects, careers, finance, accommodation, scholarships, admissions, and more.

Plan your schedule before you arrive

There’s a lot to fit in at Open Days, and depending on where you’re travelling to, you may not arrive until later in the morning.

You’re likely to receive a programme via email before the event, so use that to plan your time. Subject activities are usually the top priority, but most universities will offer repeated sessions, and if you do miss a session, you may still get the chance to speak to staff from the department. A lot of other activities like tours of the campus will be repeated throughout the day.

Choosing which open days to attend

Going to Open Days can be a time consuming process, and while they are the key opportunity to visit before your teenager makes an application, you may not be able to go to them all.

If you can’t make the main event, there are other options available – many universities offer additional campus tours and other opportunities to visit after an application has been made, such as Offer Holder Days.

If you've been unsure as to whether parents should go to open days, or perhaps you were in search of a parents guide to university Open Days, we hope you've found the above information useful. Interested in attending one of our university Open Days? Explore our events calendar to find the Open Day or campus event that suits you.