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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 explore what it's like to  study at university and the campus experience. Families get the chance to find out about courses, accommodation, student support, and careers' services.

There’s a lot on offer at an Open Day - whether it's an on campus or virtual event - so how should parents prepare? Read on to discover our top tips for surviving undergraduate Open Days…

Do parents attend university Open Days? 

Yes, university Open Days - both on campus and virtual - 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 supporting parents as their child starts this new chapter in their lives. 

Get to know the university before you attend an Open Day

Universities are keen to engage with parents, so if you need some advice before the event, don't hesitate to get in touch. There's lots of ways you can get your questions answered – from sending an email enquiry to online chat

Speak to staff – not just the teaching staff!

Open Days are a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what it’s really like at a 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 staff will have been in your position as a parent themselves, so they understand the sort of concerns you may have.

Go to parent-specific activities

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 attend the same sessions as their child, 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 the event

There’s a lot to fit in during an Open Day so, as you’re likely to receive a programme via email before the event, make sure you 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 will be repeated throughout the event, too.

Choosing which Open Days to attend

Open Days can be time consuming, and while they are the key opportunity to get to know more about a university before your teenager makes an application, you may not be able to attend them all.

If you can’t make an event, there are other options available. Many universities offer additional campus tours - both in person and virtually - and there are other opportunities to find out more after an application has been made, such as Offer Holder Days.

If you've been unsure as to whether parents should attend 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.