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Uni open days - two in one day?(19 Posts)
We're planning to visit a few unis with ds this year and have to travel quite a lot, so I was wondering if seeing two unis in one day (only half an hour drive from each other) would be ok - or would it be too rushed? Has anyone done this?
Open days are mostly all day affairs aren't they? You may well miss the crucial bit of both if you leave one early and arrive at the other late.
That's what I don't know titchy, is that your experience?
There will be details on the university websites. Maybe not the full schedule, but at least the timing of open days. The ones we've looked at have all been full days.
There will be a timetable that covers the entire day, but there will be repeats of talks, and you might not necessarily want to do everything. Dd2 and I did Bristol and Bath in one day last year by train and had planned it all out carefully - Bristol first, looked round the faculty, went to the subject talk, wandered round the general information set up, looked at videos of accommodation (dd had course content as by far her main priority, she wasn't bothered about spending a fair bit of time going out to the halls), then headed to Bath, where we visited some halls and went to a faculty talk.
Tbh, for the other couple of open days I've been to, we didn't spend an awful lot longer, and most extra time was just spent pottering about rather than doing anything crucial
Thanks Atia. I'm going to look into the timetables. He wants to see three unis all within about 50 mins of each other but all at least 3 hours from home, so I was hoping to spend 2 days seeing 2 on day one and the last one on day 2.
We did this. It worked quite well, as we arrived at the first before it got really busy, and the second after it quietened down. We didn't attend any of the talks - a lot of what is covered is already in the prospectus or on the website - & really concentrated on the things we felt we could only find out by being there (like general "feel" of the place, how grotty is the cheapest accommodation etc). As it happens, the first university wasn't a massive hit, so we were pleased we hadn't planned to spend the whole day there, & the second was always a front-runner (now the firm choice), so it was good to have somewhere else to compare it to while it was fresh in our minds.
check parking instructions if possible. Some Unis use parking elsewhere and bus you in and out which can unfortunately add considerable to how long a visit will take.
We weren't able to do this as the unis we looked at were spread out. however, because we wanted to do the accommodation tour, the general presentation and a couple of subject talks plus look round the stands on student union etc I really would not have wanted to do more than one in a day.
a good tip (someone told me, cant claim the honours for it) was to immediately you have finished both write up notes. this has proved really useful to my DC when deciding choices and what accommodation etc. also parents and their children see things in different ways and each of us picked up information that the other had missed.
With dd1 did this - travelled to university A, stayed overnight then travelled to university B half way through the day. Did Birmingham/Nottingham and Leeds/Manchester. Worked absolutely fine.
Dd did however end up going to Bristol, somewhere she didn't even visit until after her offers. We didn't go until she moved in. Loved her 3 years there.
Dd2 did the same - chose somewhere she'd never visited. Luckily she loves it too - Newcastle.
She'll definitely get a feel for places in half a day. We were only at Manchester for about 30 mins before dd decided she really didn't like it at all.
I think you can get the feel of the university in half a day, but not the city. Most second/third year students will live off campus or not in a hall and therefore it can be useful to think if this is a city where you want to live. We could not have done two open days in one day. The timings were all wrong. Bristol and Bath were even on the same day! However, if you are very organised, do not need a lot of information, and the talks are at timings to suit, then it is possible, car parking/shuttle transport permitting! For DD, there was a lot to consider and rushing round was not what she wanted.
That's a good point - how about staying the night before in one town and the night after in the other?
Although of course you do also have offer holder visits for another chance to see the place, and you can visit a town any time you like.
We did this one year. The previous year we attended both as they were 3 weeks apart but the year prior to entry they were both on the same day. We checked the timetables for both and decided what sessions we wanted to go to and as said up thread many talks are repeated during the day. We went to the closest first thing in the morning and then when we had enough info travelled to the second (30 mins). Didn't think that we had missed out on anything important. DD chose the second uni BTW.
Why don't you just let your child make their own way to the university open day? Then you don't have to worry about being free to take them. My son has just done 4 out of 5 without me, one I just wanted to see the city so he had to put up with me for company! My son wasn't the only one without parents and I am sure it makes a positive difference when parents are not present.
If you want to do 2 in one day, going alone on public transport might make that difficult. Depending on your starting point. It would take about 4 hours to get to Bristol on public transport from our house for example so 2 universities in one day would be impossible. Exeter and Newcastle would be worse. They all require going into London first if parents are not helping out. Going with friends can work well, I agree, but only if you can access transport hubs easily and the universities are fairly local. Mine met up with friends anyway. We just provided transport.
It's unlikely you can do 2 universities in 1 day on public transport unless they are in the same city, but about half of open days I've found are weekends so missing school is not an issue. A few were week days, my son's did 2 Wednesdays. His longest trip was 6 hours and shortest was 1 hour.