A student’s advice for getting the most out of Open Day

7 tips to make sure you have the best Open Day experience

Choosing the right university can be quite daunting, especially if you have no idea what to look for. Here are 7 tips from a UOW student on ways to ensure you leave Open Day confident about your future

Don't wait! Register for UOW Open Day! 

Take advantage of tours

Most universities host campus tours to give you an idea of the overall environment. Does it have things that interest you? Is it near the beach or the city?  

If you know what sort of field you want to study, there are faculty tours that will take you into buildings, labs, studios, workshops, and classrooms that you might use throughout your degree. 

It’s also a good idea to scope out the accommodation options available if you are considering relocating for your studies. UOW has a bunch of options, including on-campus, inner-city or beachside accommodation, all of which you can tour at Open Day.  

While exploring the campus, see if you can envision yourself studying there? Your gut will let you know if it’s the right fit for you.  

Plan your day 

There are so many activities during Open Day that it can be overwhelming to the unprepared person. Make sure you have some sort of plan or timetable that incorporates everything you want to do, whether its seminars, checking out clubs and societies, tours or just casually exploring. Just don’t forget to leave some time for lunch! UOW has more than a dozen cafes, takeaways and food outlets to try. You can book into info sessions and workshop through the online day planner.  

Prepare questions for the Expo Hall 

The UOW Expo Hall is where you can talk to people about your study options. It’s great to have your questions prepared so you waste less time thinking about what you want to say.  

Ask about the difference between some of the degrees you are thinking about studying. What is the difference between the majors that each degree offers? Are there any double degree options? Is there wriggle room for students that are still uncertain and may opt to change majors or degrees after a few sessions? You can also ask about UOW’s high achievers options, like Early Admission or Dean’s Scholars, as well as alternative entry programs through Woolyungah Indigenous Centre or UOW College. 

Bring the basics 

UOW will hand out maps on the day, but if you can’t find a map vendor, it’s good to have a backup plan. You can either print out a map from the University’s website, or you can download map apps like Lost On Campus. If you do get lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions, there will be people walking around in UOW branded shirts that are there to help you. 

Wollongong is a pretty big campus, so definitely don’t forget to wear clothing and shoes that you feel comfortable in.  I know from experience that it’s never fun to plan an exciting day out, then realise when you get there that your shoes aren’t good walkers. Bring some basic day-out stuff like sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, and weather appropriate accessories like an umbrella. 

Travelling to university 

Another great thing about Open Day is that you get to experience the commute to the university. If you are not relocating for your studies, it’s good to have an idea of how you would get to the campus each day. How long does it take via public transport or driving?  

Have a travel plan ready. If you’re using public transport, where are your train stations or bus stops? How far of a walk is it to campus? If you’re driving, it’s good to note where the car parks are. If you’re travelling on a highway, do you have to pay tolls to get there? 

Consider how comfortable you would feel completing the journey at nighttime if you had evening classes. UOW has 24/7 security which offers after dark safety escorts for walking to your car or bus stop, as well as the SafeZone app to help students for safe and secure.  

Think like a local  

Can you see yourself living in Wollongong? If you love the beach, you could consider living at UOW’s beachside residence, Campus East. If you love going up to the city for a weekend, iHouse next to North Wollongong train station might be the perfect new home for you. Or, if you really hate commuting, you might want to consider Kooloobong Village, a modern student accommodation right on the UOW Campus.

Overall vibe check 

UOW has heaps of impressive statistics. Not only are UOW’s grads rated the best in Australia, the University also score five stars for student experience. While it’s great to speak to experts and learn all about what your educational future holds at UOW, it’s also an opportunity to enjoy the campus. 

Take some time to relax during the day by listening to some live music or soaking up sun on one of UOW’s luscious lawns. Most degrees are at least three years long, so make sure you feel comfortable with the environment to see if it’s the right university for you.