Open Day: Top tips from real students
Queen’s students offer their advice on what to see and who to talk to.
Kirsten, BSc Human Biology
Adam, BSc Biomedical Science
Emily, BSc Biomedical Science
Jayne, MB Medicine
Firstly, who did you come to the Open Day with?
Kirsten: I went twice. First time I went with a girl in the year above me and her parents, but I didn't really need to go at this point as I still had another year before applying to uni. Second time I went with school.
Jayne: I went to the Open Day with the college I was attending at the time. The school organised a bus for all interested students to travel down together.
Adam: I went with my school the first day, then with my mum and dad the next day.
Emily: I came to Open Day with my school when I was in upper sixth. I loved exploring the campus with my friends and classmates who had similar interests to me.
Was it easy to find your way around campus?
Kirsten: It surprisingly was - we were given a map of where all the stands were which really helped!
Adam: Yes- there were so many volunteers there to direct us around.
Emily: It was much easier than I had anticipated! There was a lot of guidance and maps, and plenty of student helpers to point you in the right direction! Nothing is too far from the Lanyon Building.
What advice would you give to someone before they head to an Open Day?
Kirsten: Definitely talk to the course representatives at their stand! Ask them about personal statements and about how many hours they're in etc, so you get a good idea of the course before applying.
Jayne: Think beforehand about all the things that are important to you personally about your future university experience. Look around and get a good feel of the place and don’t be afraid to ask questions to staff or current students to help you out.
Adam: Plan out your day with the timetables provided to get the most of the day. And go to as many talks as you can.
Emily: Have a think about the key elements that matter to you most when it comes to choosing a university. These may include the course, the campus, the facilities, accommodation, Students’ Union etc. Booking yourself into talks in advance also helps as you can choose which subject areas you want to find out more about and they will help you structure your day!
What was your personal experience of the Open Day?
Kirsten: To be honest, the first time I went was more beneficial as I wasn't with my friends. All my friends wanted to study different things but we all stuck together rather than going alone to speak to the subjects we were interested in.
Jayne: The Open Day was my opportunity to see Queen’s for myself. I found it very exciting as I could picture myself studying there in the future and living in the area. It solidified my decision to apply to Queen’s and pushed me to work hard to get there.
Adam: Great overall. There are a lot of talks going on at the same time so make sure you plan your day wisely so you don’t miss out. However, I loved how the whole university came together for the Open Day – students from all areas were helping out.
Emily: When I attended Open Day I wanted to get a feel for Queen’s. I attended talks, explored the Students’ Union, the library and walked the campus. I immediately had a good feeling about Queens; the student helpers were so welcoming and friendly, the campus was beautiful, and it had everything I wanted in a university!
Did you attend any talks?
Adam: Yeah, I attended: Biological Sciences, Physics and Maths, Psychology, Biomedical Science/Human Biology, and Music.
Emily: Yes, I attended Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy talks. These were all courses I was considering applying for and the talks gave me an excellent idea of the course content, structure and teaching methods, which helped me narrow down my choices.
Would you recommend the Open Day to prospective students?
Kirsten: Absolutely, it's definitely a good way to see around!
Emily: I would definitely recommend it! Even if you know you want to come to Queen’s and you already know what course is for you, visiting can give you an even clearer idea of what university life will be like and give you an insight into your course.
Were you able to ask questions?
Jayne: Yes! When I was in the MBC I asked a few questions that were very important for my personal application to Queen’s. It was reassuring to directly speak to a staff member that knew exactly the information I was seeking.
Adam: Yes! There were so many opportunities to ask questions. I was even able to talk one- on-one with a few of the lecturers.
Did you get to speak to current students? Was it beneficial?
Kirsten: Yeah, I spoke to a few. I think the most beneficial was a student who was studying a Master’s in Pharmacy. I wanted to study Medicine and needed a 5th choice as you can only apply to Medicine four times. He suggested that I could use Pharmacy as my final choice.
Emily: Yes, there were student helpers dotted around the campus who would answer any questions you had. It was extremely beneficial and they made you right at home!
Did you take the campus tour?
Kirsten: I did! I went round Elms and the PEC etc. The tour guide took you around the PEC which was ideal as you couldn't get in to look around if you didn't have a membership.
Adam: I didn't realise there was a campus tour (had I know there was one I definitely would have been on it!). I took the accommodation tour though - It was great! I also called into the Computer Science Building which was very impressive – they had so many projects and machines on display.
Emily: I did take the campus tour, and it was great! It allowed me to understand the layout of all of the faculties, the library, accommodation and more. I would highly recommend taking the tour as it even assisted me in finding my way around during Freshers’ week.
What made you decide to study at Queen's?
Kirsten: It's close to my wee mammy and all the people I love at home. Also, I needed to save money for studying Medicine after graduating from Human Biology.
Jayne: I decided to study at Queen’s because of all the opportunities they offered that suited my interests, especially their teaching methods for the Medicine course. Also, living in Belfast and studying at Queen’s was more financially friendly compared to other cities.
Adam: I'd always wanted to study at Queen’s, but the Open Day really inspired me, especially the enthusiasm of the lecturers compared to those at other Open Days I had attended.
Emily: Queen’s has everything I wanted in a university; courses which interested me, a member of the Russell group, a beautiful campus and even better - it’s close to home!
1.Come prepared – plan ahead for what you would like to see and do.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – everyone is friendly and willing to help.
3. Don’t just focus on the academic aspects of the university. Look at the other facilities they provide such as the SU, PEC etc.
4. Open Days allow you to get a feel for the university and can help you envision yourself there in the future.
Human Biology | 1st year | Portadown, Northern Ireland
I’m a 20-year-old Human Biology student, commuting to Queens on a daily basis. Never known to turn down a chai latte or slice of cake. Admirer of art and theatre enthusiast. On the side I’m an amateur crafter hoping to progress to greater things. Hope you enjoy my blogs!