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University open days

(55 Posts)
haveabreakhaveakitkat Mon 22-Jun-15 16:13:30

Dd (17) is going into her last year of college so is looking at universities for next year. Most have open days happening in the next few weeks. Three are within 60 miles so can do those quite easily in a day. One is 150 miles and one nearly 200 miles which would involve long drives and probably overnight stays.

We're looking at the next 5/6 weekends being taken up driving around the country. We have two other children to accommodate too.

AIBU to think that in this day and age she can get a good 'feel' for the place online? and ask any questions by email? The websites are very thorough. I haven't said any of this to her. She's excited about the whole thing but I'm thinking just visit the closer ones and check out the others online and if she gets into the further away ones we'll then plan to visit before she starts.

We actually have two excellent universities within our city - just a bus ride away from our house - but she's adamant she wants to move away and do the whole 'going away to uni' thing!

LIZS Mon 22-Jun-15 16:16:55

Not u at all. There are plenty in autumn too so they can be staggered and a realistic shortlist made after as results are out. Can she go to some with friends?

Gemauve Mon 22-Jun-15 16:19:00

We're looking at the next 5/6 weekends being taken up driving around the country.

Why can't she go on her own? My elder went to five open days, over a 300 mile radius, on their own; my younger is currently on a train back from 250 miles away, having stayed in that city last night on their own, fresh from another open day on Saturday they went to on their own?.

Or perhaps you've raised a child who can't use public transport?

LazyLouLou Mon 22-Jun-15 16:19:34

So, why can't she go on her own? Use her student rail card www.16-25railcard.co.uk/

If she wants to be independent then you can help her start that transition now.

YWBU to try to persuade her to attend the ones close to home...

BaronessBomburst Mon 22-Jun-15 16:20:55

I went on my own and took the train. It meant some really early starts as I lived on the south coast at the time but I really enjoyed it too.

Wharm14 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:22:20

If you can't manage to go to the open day, how would you rescue her in an emergency? I work in HE and hear of many parents making long distance trips to rescue their "independent" children who suddenly need them. Something to throw into the mix when choosing a uni I think.

Theycallmemellowjello Mon 22-Jun-15 16:23:11

Eh, you don't take a parent to uni open days! She won't be able to get a feel for the place if you're there. And I actually agree that it's fine to look at brochures to decide where to apply then visit when she's for some offers in.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Mon 22-Jun-15 16:23:28

She can go on her own. She travels around to gigs and has had weekends away with friends. She has rail and coach cards but we're in the South East and travelling anywhere around here is expensive.

She really would like our opinion and involvement. I'm glad she values our opinions still.

drivingmisspotty Mon 22-Jun-15 16:25:59

Would you have been happy choosing her school or daycare without visiting it when she was younger? How do you get that gut feel online?

viva100 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:26:45

YABVU. Not the same thing, absolutely not at all. When DH and I chose our uni we visited loads (not together, we didn't know each other then). Also, YABU about driving her everywhere, she can get a train.

teatowel Mon 22-Jun-15 16:27:08

My daughter chose her uni because she felt so welcome when she visited (and obviously she liked the course!)I don't think you can get that feeling from a website. She visited the four she thought she would most probably want to go to. She also discounted one completely because she didn't like it when she got there. So if you can manage to go( and afford it) I think it is useful.She has younger siblings so only one of us went with her.

Wharm14 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:27:34

Sorry, I was on my phone and realised that might have sounded a bit harsh, switched to a computer now. I have advised lots of people on uni choices over the years and in this day an age off higher fees, living costs and poorly paying part time jobs, I think parents need to be realistic when sending their kids off to uni. I definitely don't think you can pick a Uni by their website alone, it is always better to see it in person. You can find out so much from the website, but nothing makes up for sitting in a lecture theatre, listening to the staff teaching on the courses and speaking to the support staff. Even just by seeing the way different Uni's run their open days, gives you a great insight into philosophy of the Uni. I am currently supporting my husband in studying for a degree and we went to an open day on saturday which blew my socks off with how well it was run, however the website was a bit 'meh!'. It could equally be the other way round.
Good Luck whatever you decide to do smile

ISingSoprano Mon 22-Jun-15 16:27:41

Get her to check and see if they interview for the course she is interested. If they do she will have to go then.

DoJo Mon 22-Jun-15 16:28:24

Then surely your opinion and involvement can be garnered from looking at their websites and suggesting questions that she might like to ask when she visits?

haveabreakhaveakitkat Mon 22-Jun-15 16:28:37

Misspotty. I wouldn't have considered any schools 200 miles away.

fastdaytears Mon 22-Jun-15 16:28:42

I would say that she should absolutely go (though independently as you have other DC to think about). The websites make everywhere look the same. A lot of sixth formers seem to suddenly apply themselves a lot more to a levels after seeing some unis first hand which is a bonus.

Wharm14 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:29:44

And there were lots of parents there with their offspring on Saturday at the open day we went too, unless she's going to be totally financially independent, go along and get a feel for it yourself!

teatowel Mon 22-Jun-15 16:31:01

Just to add loads of parents go to the open days . Some uni's have parents workshops whilst their offspring go off discovering.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Mon 22-Jun-15 16:34:09

Wharm14. That's really helpful thanks. I can certainly see your point of view. I have no problem taking her to the furthest reaches of the country if it will help her future or paying train fares for her to go alone if that's what she wants.

I don't think any of her friends are looking at the same uni's, most seem to be looking at the ones in the city. However I'd be happy to pay for her friend to go along to visit if she'd prefer a 'peer' view rather than stuffy old mum smile

Headdesk Mon 22-Jun-15 16:37:00

I was on the fence about my uni until I went to the open day and it just felt like home so i went for it. It's also a good chance to ask current students questions you wouldn't ask the lecturers.

Gemauve Mon 22-Jun-15 16:37:05

Misspotty. I wouldn't have considered any schools 200 miles away.

So you went to university in your home town, then?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 22-Jun-15 16:38:03

I'm not sure what your AIBU is actually.

Yes she could probably get a feel online, but she doesn't want to.

Ds2 is 17 and we're doing the rounds with him. We'll see as many as he wants to (two so far) but he's pretty certain where he wants to go., which happens to be the first one we went to. But I think he needs to see the other two which offer the course he wants just to confirm his choice if nothing else.

You should support her and the way she wants to do it IMO.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Mon 22-Jun-15 16:47:23

Its not just the uni campus she needs to get a 'feel' for, its the city she is proposing to spend the next three to four years of her life in. If she gets the latter element wrong she will have a miserable time no matter how good the department she may be studying in.

whois Mon 22-Jun-15 16:50:49

Eh, you don't take a parent to uni open days!

Eh, yes you do.

whois Mon 22-Jun-15 16:51:46

Absolutely crucial to go to visit the uni and the city I would say. I was really turned off one uni I had previously thought was my top choice, and really taken with others once I saw the department and the city and the atmosphere etc

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