University Open Days in Australia are an awesome opportunity for international students to get a taste of Australian life and culture as well as find out exactly how to apply for a course and get a student visa. In this quick guide, we’ll share seven key preparation tips so you can get the most out of your upcoming Open Day. Studying in Australia is a wonderful experience and attending an Open Day is a major step toward making it happen. Let’s go!
1. Check the program
Open Day is a big event and there are usually lots of events and activities on offer. Check the university’s website for the full program of activities but you can expect:
- Campus tours
- Information sessions by the different faculties.
- Interactive experiences with specialist technology.
- Presentations by industry partners.
- Meet and greet sessions with academics, current students, and alumni.
- Virtual events about specific courses.
While you are browsing the program be sure to register your interest for Open Day on the university’s website. This means you’ll receive regular updates plus download links for resources and event guides.
DON’T FORGET! Some Open Day events (eg, campus tours and virtual sessions) require pre-registration, so make sure you register well in advance.
3. Make a schedule
To get the most from Open Day, make a schedule for yourself that includes the information sessions, displays, high-tech activities, and people you want to talk to.
REMEMBER! Universities are big places so familiarise yourself with the campus map and the location of the activities you want to attend.
4. Prepare your questions
Don’t forget to prepare a list of questions to ask while you are at Open Day. Have them stored in your phone or (if you’re old school like us) write them in a funky notebook and take a pen with you. Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Am I eligible for any scholarships?
- How many semesters are there each year?
- How many units will I need to complete each semester?
- What type of assignments will I need to complete, and what are the passing grades?
- Will I need to attend on-campus lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, or classroom sessions?
- How many hours will I be at uni each week, and what does a typical timetable look like?
- Will I need to buy any specialist software, equipment, tools, materials, uniforms, or clothes to complete my course?
- Do I need to find my own work placement, or is practical experience built into the course?
- Are the courses I’m interested in accredited with professional organisations?
- Do any of these professional organisations offer student membership to international students?
- What are the employment prospects after I complete my course?
- Are there additional visa and/or employment incentives associated with my course and/or employment sector?
- Does the university offer student accommodation?
- What social groups, clubs, and societies can I join?
- What support services are available for international students?
- Does the university offer free workshops and courses in English language, grammar, and assignment writing skills?
5. Practice networking
As an international student, you might feel nervous in the lead-up to Open Day. This is perfectly normal, especially if English is your second language. Here are three things that might boost your confidence:
- There will be loads of other international students at Open Day, so rather than being nervous, feel excited about meeting new people and forging new connections.
- Take a relative or friend with you. Family members are especially welcome at university Open Days.
- Practice speaking English as much as you can, and if you are feeling anxious, prepare some cue cards or conversation scripts that you can quietly reference throughout the day. They just might get you through one of those awkward silences.
6. Plan your transport (or hardware)
You don’t want to be late to Open Day so arrange your transport, parking, and attire well in advance. This means checking the location and timetables of public transport and the price and availability of parking.
Alternately, if you are attending a virtual open day, organise a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted as well as a fully operational WIFI connection, microphone, and camera.
DON’T FORGET! Register for online and specialist events before the cut-off date and keep the event link and entry passwords in an accessible folder.
7. Arrange side-activities
After you leave Open Day, don’t go home before checking out the range of services and facilities that are close to the university. It’s helpful to know what shopping, transport, parking, entertainment, reference, and dining facilities are nearby, so be sure to include this in your Open Day schedule.
STILL DECIDING? Not yet sure if Australia is the right place to fulfil your life goals and career aspirations? Visit the highly regarded Study in Australia portal where you can browse available courses, learn how to enrol as an international student, and get the right student visa.