University Open Days: Tips for Planning with your Student

August is fast approaching and that signals the start of Open Day Season. Open days are a great opportunity to explore the possibilities of further education and experience the culture of the school. It’s never too soon to start attending open days. I recommend starting in year 10 as it can help students focus for their HSC.

Here’s a handy link to all the open days in Sydney. Some key dates are:

August 19th: Macquarie University, University of New Castle, University of Wollongong

August 26th: University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, Australian Defense Force Academy

August 27th: University of Western Sydney

September 2nd: University of New South Wales, Australian Catholic University

Openday1You’ll need to let your student know that open days are coming up. Push them take the lead on organizing the day. Unfortunately Tafe had an open week back in June that was not well advertised so that ship has sailed.

Encourage them to do some research and make a plan. They need to spend some time brainstorming what open days they want to attend, courses they are interested in and who they want to talk to. All the information they need can be found on the open day websites or download the school’s app. This is an opportunity for them to talk to you about the schools and courses they are interested in.

Let them take the lead and plan the day. Allowing them to plan the day will focus their interests. It will require them to reflect deeply on the options available to them. Encourage them to ask questions but don’t be afraid to chime in if they have overlooked something. They don’t know what they don’t know so they don’t know what to ask.

It takes a whole day to visit one school. Finding the right match of program and school drives student success. Open days are but once a year so don’t rush it. Once you’ve gotten all the information you need spend the rest of the day getting a feel for the campus. They’ll be spending a lot of time there over the next three years.

Visit more than one school. Their dream school/program may turn out not to be a good fit for them or visiting the competition may confirm their thoughts. This is the chance to try before you buy. They get to nominate three choices so there should be at least one dream program and one safe option.

openday2Above all, have fun on the day.

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