Uni town visits - when can we go?

(34 Posts)
GreenNdYellow Wed 24-Feb-21 12:34:09

Following the provisional timetable from Johnson about when lockdown restrictions will be eased, does anyone get an idea of when we might be able to travel to visit Unis?

I am not expecting Unis to be able to run in person Open Days before the deadline to confirm offers, However those of us whose DC have not been able to even visit the area when Unis are located would welcome the opportunity to do so.

So, when do you think day trips, or trip requiring an overnight stay would be allowed? Or would they already be allowed under the umbrella of being allowed to travel for Education purposes?

OP’s posts: |
rbe78 Wed 24-Feb-21 12:37:21

Looks like self-catering and campsites are due to open from 12th April - no overnight stays until then.

Bramshott Wed 24-Feb-21 16:28:32

I'm thinking 12 April onwards. Totally agree that it's really hard for them to make choices when they haven't even been to the city the universities are in.

GreenNdYellow Wed 24-Feb-21 16:37:51

Looks like 29th March people are allowed to travel outside their local area, so day trips to Uni locations might be ok?

And then 12th April overnight stays if in self contained accommodation, but 17th May for hotels or staying with friends.

Does anyone have a different understanding? 17th May would be cutting it a bit fine for Uni applications, and of course those provisional opening up dates might slip.

OP’s posts: |
PresentingPercy Wed 24-Feb-21 17:18:00

Don’t you have until Jan 2022 to apply? What’s the rush?

GreenNdYellow Wed 24-Feb-21 17:28:37

This is for DC who have applied for this September @PresentingPercy

My DS has only been able to watch virtual Open Days, not actually step foot near the Unis he currently has offers for.

Most Open Days were scheduled for Spring/Summer 2020 so never happened.

Deadline for firming and insuring a Uni place is May 30th, I think. We want to get in a visit to DS's top two before then!

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Wed 24-Feb-21 21:45:51

Deadline for firming and insuring a Uni place is May 30th, I think. We want to get in a visit to DS's top two before then!

June 10th, if the applicant has received all their responses by May 20th, so we've got a bit more time. If DS2 doesn'tdecide entirely against Warwick in the meantime, I'll probably be game for a road trip by then, especially since its a time of year when I may be driving a couple of hundred miles a week and, tiring as that in itself is, somehow not quite as draining as this year's substitute, whole days on Zoom in the dining room or spare bedroom.

See 'Key Dates' in Undergraduate on the UCAS website, www.ucas.com/ucas/events/find/scheme/undergraduate/type/key-date?keywords=&layout=list%29 ).
The deadline for universities to respond to all on-time applications is May 20th and any such applications not responded to by then default to unsuccessful. Similarly, if the applicant doesn't enter their response by their deadline, they will be declined automatically. The June 10th deadline doesn't apply to applications through Exyra, though.


Covidcorvid Wed 24-Feb-21 21:51:04

Personally I’d go after April 12th. Hotels are actually open now if for a valid reason such as work. I know someone recently in early labour who didn’t want to go back home/wanted to be near the hospital so they stayed in the travelodge round the corner.

bestbefore Wed 24-Feb-21 22:22:28

I think mid may. Hopefully. And depending on any assessments they need to be around for. Am so relieved...the thought of her going off somewhere to live that she'd never been to was scary!

PresentingPercy Fri 26-Feb-21 11:36:45

It really is not scary at all. My DD went to 2 universities on her year abroad. Never been to either city. Students really do take a lot in their stride. There is so much info you can get from web sites and, lets fact it, thousands of other students are going to be in the city/university. Freshers are hardly alone. No city in this country is scary. Open days make little difference regarding how you live and exist in a city. No one every has much time to fully explore either. Students get to know cities and universities by taking the plunge and living there.

Covidcorvid Fri 26-Feb-21 11:48:05

I went to uni in Middlesborough when I was 18. Had never been there, hadn't gone to an open day, no online open days, no youtube videos to watch, etc. No internet searching to get any info. I'd just looked at the prospectus.. I had a great time,

PresentingPercy Fri 26-Feb-21 11:51:03

Lots of cities given you great info on what goes on there. So markets, festivals, nice quirky shopping areas, cafes and restaurants etc. It is more than just the university but it certainly is not scary. If anything, it is exciting.

bestbefore Sat 27-Feb-21 09:41:29

Sorry @PresentingPercy but I do think it's scary. These kids have had an awful year - my dd hasn't been out socially for ages and they haven't really 'grown up' - we live in a small town, 18th parties over zoom, everything on hold, and so to us being able to visit where she might be living on her own in September would be reassuring

ShaunaTheSheep Sat 27-Feb-21 10:29:11

I don’t think it is scary but it’s a useful trip to make if you can, just to get a feel for the place.
DS1 had the opportunity to visit all his choices and more, and was confident to reject, insure and firm having had a taster.
DS2 will be heading out to visit as soon as he can.

Fifthtimelucky Sat 27-Feb-21 10:33:18


Looks like 29th March people are allowed to travel outside their local area, so day trips to Uni locations might be ok?

And then 12th April overnight stays if in self contained accommodation, but 17th May for hotels or staying with friends.

Does anyone have a different understanding? 17th May would be cutting it a bit fine for Uni applications, and of course those provisional opening up dates might slip.

I agree with this. I'd do day trips between 29 March and 11 April and then any overnighters ASAP after 12 April.

Oblomov21 Sat 27-Feb-21 10:41:31

Blimey I hadn't even thought of this. Just discussed it with Ds1! He says he's not that bothered. Neither am I actually.

ShaunaTheSheep Sat 27-Feb-21 10:46:33

Don’t worry about when to firm and insure though, unless accommodation is an issue. Last year the deadline was extended so many time, DS1 reconsidered his subject and firmed about 6 hrs before the deadline.

PresentingPercy Sat 27-Feb-21 10:58:14

The great thing about university is that DC are rarely on their own. I think you are building this up in your mind to be something your DD will do in solitary confinement. Even with Covid, bubbles of students were allowed in halls of residence. She really has no need to be alone. Obviously she seems to have friends so expect her to make more at university. They all pull together and it’s not like you are cutting her loose to be entirely alone in a big city. It’s simply not like that. I would say you are somewhat over the top in your analysis of what happens at university. Have faith in her and support her new life. Even after last year, students made friends at university.

The best advice is to apply for a hall of residence that has a bit going on and gated facilities. You don’t want everyone stuck in their rooms. Where is she thinking about firming? Lots of people on these threads know the universities and cities pretty well.

PresentingPercy Sat 27-Feb-21 10:59:14

not gated!!! Communal facilities.

ShaunaTheSheep Sat 27-Feb-21 11:03:25

Also, with social media, it’s possible to ‘meet’ flatmates before they go.
DS1’s halls had a WhatsApp group within minutes of the allocations being emailed out, where they compared room numbers and set up individual flat group chats. His flat booked arrival times for the same weekend so no one was left on their own.

Kazzyhoward Sat 27-Feb-21 11:07:08

Not sure visiting deserted campuses and cities would really be that helpful. You're going to see them in a very bad light when there's nothing open, no one around, shops/restaurants boarded up, etc.

Why not just spend the time googling. Most unis have virtual campus tours online. Most towns/cities have lots of tourist related websites with images/videos showing it at it's best - when it's busy, i.e. clubs, bars, restaurants, festivals, attractions, etc.

I live in a university city. At the moment, it's the most depressing place imaginable. The campus itself is a ghost town - there's only one Uni "cafe" open for the few students who are there. In the city centre, most of the shops are closed, all the cafes/restaurants/pubs are closed. In "normal" times, the main streets would have tables/chairs outside the cafes/restaurants, the main shopping streets would be busy, etc. Now it's just a handful of people shuffling between the 2 or 3 shops that are open (Wilko, Greggs, Boots and WHS).

I can guarantee that if you came to visit our city and it's uni, you'd go away with a very poor impression and would have wasted your day!

bestbefore Sat 27-Feb-21 11:21:10

@PresentingPercy I know...I have been to university myself but please permit us a tiny bit of concern. This year has been distressing and uncertain for everyone and it is a big change. My DD is confident and has joined a snapchat group for people on her potential course which is ace but we're looking forward to visiting the city when permissions for travel allow just to get a feel for the place. It's not the same as googling (which of course we have done and she's done the virtual open day and is attending an offers day online next month).
I do know of 1st years who haven't really made new friends this year - not everyone has had a good time but I appreciate we tend to hear about the ones who've not had a good experience more.
Anyway am sure she will be fine (as will I!) and we are looking forward to a roadtrip to help put it all into focus a bit more. (Hope she likes the city after all this - we did visit one uni and she wasn't keen for some reason!)

PresentingPercy Sat 27-Feb-21 11:25:37

Right! Agreed. Not scary just a bit concerning. Lots of good ideas have been put forward. Choose accommodation with bubble possibilities. My DN started in Sept snd is friends with flatmates. Choose accommodation where this is possible. Ask the accommodations office about how students live in each hall if it’s not clear. Where is DD going?

PresentingPercy Sat 27-Feb-21 11:29:12

You might also be surprised to learn that students don’t necessarily spend time investigating a city. They tend to need a supermarket, somewhere for entertainment every so often and somewhere to meet friends. Roaming around and exploring seems to be a minority occupation. Other then to find bars. She needs to articulate what she doesn’t like. Is it rational or a bit immature?

ShaunaTheSheep Sat 27-Feb-21 11:34:31

Worth acknowledging that for some it is a big step leaving home. For others, they can’t wait to make their own way in the world. But it’s still good to know where you are going. It’s not a fortnight in Greece, they will be living there for 3 or more years.

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