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Iain's blog

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

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Open days

A little while back I posted about making the all important decision about what to study and where (see here). In which I made the point that you should go and visit any university you are thinking of studying at, ideally before you apply there. The first open day gives you a feel of the university overall, you can see the halls, the campus (if applicable) and get to know a bit about the city the university is in.

Now you’ve been lucky and received offers from several universities, often wanting the same grades, but how do you choose which one to go to?

The simple answer is to visit again!

Most universities, including Cardiff, run two types of open day. The first, usually before Christmas, is a university wide open day; the second is a school specific open day and is so you can get to know more about where you potentially may be studying. What can you expect from your second visit to the uni?

  • A talk from the admissions tutor
  • A tour of the department
  • A chance to speak to fellow applicants
  • A chance to speak to current students
  • A chance to speak to staff in the department
  • Free tea and cake!

Well, all of the above is true at the optometry open days anyway. We like to start around 2 on a Wednesday afternoon, when the more energetic types are off playing sport and the normal agenda is:

  • Talk from admissions tutor about grades and what to expect from course
  • Talk from OPSOC about how we work with the school and make life a bit more fun
  • Tour of the building with current students in small groups
  • Questions (and possibly some answers) over tea and cakes to current students and lecturers. (It’s amazing how many lecturers and post-grad students suddenly appear when there is any food available)

I like to help out on open days as it gives people a different perspective rather than just the 18/19 year old who goes out all the time, and it means I get some cake as well. :-D

So if you have an offer from any university I strongly recommend going round again and asking as many questions as you want about what life and the course is really like. If you’re coming to Cardiff then say hi if you see me (I’m quite hard to miss).

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