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 Post subject: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
Posts: 297
Location: S E London
How many unis is it sensible to visit when trying to choose? DS is allowed 2 days off of school this term, and there are only so many Saturdays we can commit to (and only so much travel money in the pot). It's difficult to know how many is sensible to visit, and how to choose without visiting. He has done all the usual looking at stats, websites, student prospectus etc.


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11952
DS made a list of things he wanted e.g. catered hall in 1st year, no more than2 hours from home and he then made a 'long list' of unis and which things they had.

On the basis of that we did quite a few Saturdays as he did not want to miss any lessons at all if possible. I think we visited about 5 but we did know some places from personal experience or from talking to people he knew from the years above him. Another tip is to do one of your nearest just as a 'base-line' to judge others against.

I would not put much faith in 'league tables' as they are as good as the students that respond and reputation tends to be subject rather than uni. (ie the tables are too broad - all engineering grouped together for example)

Many unis do additional visits after offers have been made.


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:02 pm
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We visited two during the summer term, one saturday and one during the week then visited another three during the autumn term. You can spread it out over several months and you can even apply without visiting the uni if the course suits. Most uni's invite you to an offer day the following February as well to help you make up your mind. :D


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
2 days seems rather few - DS1's school bumped their allowance up from 3 to 5 last year! We stressed a bit over whether this was to cover both open days and any applicant days offered, but in the end he only took three or four days off school altogether. He visited (with either DH or yours truly ix tow) seven universities on open days and one just for a campus tour in the summer holidays. The organisers of the campus tour (at UEA) did arrange for us to have a chat and a brief look at the labs with the Professor of Science Communion (I think that was her title), which was very helpful.. In the end, obviously, three had to be discarded, but he got offers from all five he applied to, so went round all of them again on applicant days. This almost didn't help much as he loved all of them all over again, but eventually Birmingham replaced Southampton as the front runner, balancing course, campus and city. The unconditional if firmed offer was nice as well, but he is sensible enough and confident enough in his own abilities not to have let this sway him if it hadn't also felt like a good place to be spending three out of the next four years.

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Last edited by ToadMum on Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:44 pm 
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The advice on the thread is sensible but went like Toadmum more than once to the Universities we had targeted.In our case it was three double visits and one of those was to my old University.It is amazing how much institutions change over the years.The place I went to was unrecognisable and it was the one my daughter chose in the end but for a completely different course.We think we know it all but departments and Universities change over the years.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:30 am
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Location: Warwickshire
We found some 'workshops' at universities too. DD went to a couple and found them a good way to get a feel for the university and much less frantic than the general open days. The school might even consider them as 'education' rather than 'open days'!

Cambridge, for example, calls them 'Subject Masterclasses'.


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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If you can't make the Open Days then some offer campus tours and you can arrange your own visits.


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
Posts: 450
We like to take short breaks during October and Easter, and in addition had a couple of nights away during the summer last year - we used these opportunities to visit potential university cities and have a family city break. Have elminated a number of places just on the basis that my DS didn't like the town.


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:47 pm
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We also were able to eliminate and select Universities off our equation by arranging visits with students at certain Universities.

When a colleague of mine was doing a masters and his wife was doing the final year of her PHD at Green Templeton College and Gonville and Caius in Oxford respectively I was able to go for a weekend visit with my cousins daughter and her dad.We were able to get a good look around the University which gave my cousins daughter the passion to make her application and to eventually get a place.

When it came to my eldest daughter my cousins daughter replicated at Oriel College and we found it wasn't right for my daughter as the course she wanted was extremely competitive with a 8 and half per cent success rate and she wanted to be able to go abroad for a year.She didn't think the University suited her and she didn't think she would be able to cope academically.So we didn't waste our efforts.


She wasn't prepared for the sake of going to the University to try and get a place on a less competitive course like anthropology for which she had no passion or enthusiasm or develop a passion and enthusiasm over a 12 month period prior to the applicatio

It doesn't do any harm in planning from an early age if you have the contacts just to get a feel for the place.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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 Post subject: Re: visiting unis
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:06 pm 
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I may have my friends wifes college wrong it was the one with the bridge across and I may have named a cambridge college. Apologies.

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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