Attending Open Day Or Doing A Campus Tour? Here’s How To Make The Most Of It

Are you gearing up for a campus tour or open day? This is an exciting step in your academic journey, and it's crucial to make the most of your visit. Whether you're exploring potential study options or simply curious about campus life, here's a guide to help you navigate the experience effectively.

Pre-tour preparation

Before setting foot on campus, take some time to prepare yourself for the visit:

  • Get to know the university: Explore its website, learn about its programmes, the facilities on campus and the extracurricular activities it offers. If you understand what is offered and the values it promotes, you will be in a better place to make informed decisions.
  • Plan the visit: Schedule a virtual or on-campus student appointment with a student advisor. If you are going to attend an open day, make sure you know when, what time and where you are meeting. Make sure you know how you will be getting there and, if by car, that there is parking available.
  • Decide what your goals are for the visit: You might be more interested in particular academic programmes, or it may be more important to you what is offered by the general campus experience. If your intentions are clear, you are more likely to gather relevant information.

Example of an open day

  • Mock lectures for prospective students
  • One-on-one meetings with student advisors to learn more about The IIE’s various qualifications
  • Campus tours
  • Information hubs to help you gather information about sports, social, VC Cares, and student support services/committees. The information hubs will set up gazebos in order to showcase their different committees and to explain what these committees consist of, and how to sign up. The purpose is to let you and your parents know what life would be like at Varsity College.

During the tour

During the campus tour, keep these tips in mind to make your experience constructive:

  • Look around: Pay attention to the campus environment and the atmosphere in general. Think about how comfortable you'd be as a student there.
  • Ask questions: Talk to your tour guide and ask about classes, facilities, student life, and anything else you're curious about. It shows you're interested in the school.
  • Talk to current students: If you get the chance, chat with students who have already experienced the university. They can tell you about life on campus, classes, activities, and more.
  • Focus on what's important: Visit places that matter to you, like lecture rooms, libraries, gyms, and even the cafeteria. This helps you understand what campus life is like.

Post-tour reflection

After finishing the tour or open day, take time to think about your experience and what to do next:

  • Make notes: Write down what you thought about the tour, things you noticed, and what stood out to you. Remember to document details like what the campus offered and how you felt. It may help you remember and compare the different universities later.
  • Decide if the university fits your needs: See if the school matches what you're looking for academically and personally. Did you feel like you belonged there? Could it support what you want to achieve as a student?

Interactive elements

Take a virtual campus tour. Virtual tours let you explore campus facilities remotely, which will give you insight into the campus environment and culture. The IIE’s Varsity College virtual tours allow you to visit all of their state-of-the-art campuses without leaving home, and choose the one that best suits you. From lecture halls to libraries, sports facilities to cafeterias, you’re given a detailed tour of what’s on offer.

Tips for parents

  • Let your child take charge during campus visits. Encourage them to ask questions, talk to staff and students, and make their own decisions.
  • Guide your child without taking over. Respect their independence and let them explore different aspects of campus life at their own pace.
  • Keep communication open. Listen to your child's thoughts and concerns about their visit to the universities and offer support and encouragement as they explore their options.

About The IIE’s Varsity College

The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) of which Varsity College is a brand, is South Africa’s largest registered and accredited private provider of higher education. At Varsity College we understand that no two students are the same or learn the same. That’s why we make sure a student’s education is shaped around them; how they like to learn, what they are passionate about, what makes them tick, and what makes them thrive. Our Education by Design approach allows students to grow into their best, and creates a space where they can live, learn and play – their way.