Open Days are held at most Victorian universities in school Term 3 - but what are Open Days all about? Which ones should you and your child go to and what will you do when you get there?
What is Open Day?
On Open Day, a university opens its doors to anyone who is interested in attending their university in the future, or who would just like to know more about the institution. University Open Days are well worth attending because they can help you make one of life's important decisions. They usually occur on weekends during Term 3 of the school year.
When and where are open days held?
Some universities have multiple campuses with Open Days on different dates at their regional or smaller campuses.
Visit Victorian Universities' Open Day websites for their Open Day dates.
Open Day hints and tips
(download and print our Open Day Hints and Checklist [PDF 100kb] to take with you)
Who can attend?
Anybody can attend Open Day, and it’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait until Year 12 to go along. You might be in a lower year level at the moment and just beginning to consider university in the future - this is a great time to get a head start on finding out more about higher education and the study options available.
Open Days are also a great chance for parents/guardians to find out more about their child’s future study options.
What happens at Open Day?
Universities run tours of their campuses, have staff and student representatives from different courses and faculties to talk about what they do and have information available about all different study services.
Among the presentations, activities, food and fun, you also have an opportunity to talk informally with students who are studying in the courses you are considering.
Open Days also give you a chance to soak up the culture of university life while you’re still deciding your options for future study.
While you are there, you can take the opportunity to ask questions about courses, facilities and your future plans, as well as exploring campuses, from teaching and learning areas to libraries, cafes, social spaces and accommodation.
"Must do" items to tick off
- Visit the areas such as students support services and student lounges to check out what it's like to be a student. Does the campus feel like a place you’d like to belong?
- Go on a campus tour and see what facilities and resources are available on campus.
- Don’t just talk to university staff: make sure you chat with some current students of the institution. They are experts on what it’s like to study there, and have recently gone through the process of selecting and getting into their course.
- Bring someone along with you. Parents/guardians are a great option as they may have information they want to find out too. A friend or other family member can also be helpful and make you feel comfortable making your first trip onto campus.
- Watch out for student clubs and societies who will be around on the day. These can be an exciting addition to university life and cover a huge range of interests, often creating lots of social opportunities and freebies.
"Must find out" items to tick off
- Different pathways into the courses in which you’re interested.
- Any prerequisite subjects or tasks for the courses you’re considering.
The time commitment of the course your considering (how many years it takes to complete the course, how many hours per week will you need to attend lectures and tutorials, and do extra reading and studying- uni doesn’t have set hours like school).
What public transport and parking options are available if you are going to travel to uni.
- What accommodation is available if you are considering moving away from home to go to uni.
- The facilities that are available at the campus. Libraries, cafes, banks, book stores, security services are all commonly found at uni campuses.
What questions should I ask current university students?
- Why do you choose to study at this university?
- What is it like living away from home?
- What do you wish you’d known before you started studying?
- What jobs does your course lead to?
- What are the best and worst things about uni in your opinion?
- How have you found the course so far – what are the teaching / facilities / support like.
- What’s this town/suburb like to live in?
What questions should I ask University staff ?
- What are the prerequisites for the courses I’m considering?
- What are my options if I don’t get the ATAR for this course?
- What services and facilities are available for students?
- Who should I contact if I have more questions?
What questions should I ask students and staff about on-campus accommodation?
- Who can live on-campus at this university?
- How long can I live on-campus for?
- Am I guaranteed a place in on-campus accommodation if I’m accepted into a course?
- How do I apply for accommodation?
- What type of accommodation is available? (i.e. single rooms, shared room, shared or private bathroom and kitchens, room or flat living).
- What extras are provided for students who live on-campus? (i.e. food, support services, social program, sports and recreational facilities).
- What are the costs of living on-campus?
Career Action Plan
After attending an Open Day, encourage your child to review and update their Career Action Plan, to help them fine-tune their choices about future career and study.
You can help with this:
- Discuss their and your thoughts about the Open Day experience.
- Try to help them link their learning from Open Day to the courses and universities/campuses they are most interested in.
- Encourage them to write up their Open Day learnings in their Career Action Plan and to discuss any uncertainties with their teacher or careers advisor.