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Going to university is a big step for your child. Heading to an open day is really useful for prospective students as it can help them decide if a university is really right for them.
It’s much better than simply ordering and reading a prospectus, and that’s why we encourage students to go on open day visits.
But here’s the question: should you go along with your child on these open day visits?
Well, your child might want to go alone or with their friends instead, but, if they're happy for you to tag along, then here are some great reasons why you should take the time to go…
1. Two pairs of eyes are better than one
You can guarantee you and your child will both be looking at different things during the open day. And there are things that you might spot that they might not have considered. By you going along too, you can remind them of those points and give them a fuller picture of whether the uni is really right for them.
Make a plan of what you want to check out on the day and a list of questions you want to ask any staff/current students you’ll meet on the day. Get your child to do the same and then you can compare notes at the end of the open day.
2. It'll reassure you (and your child)
If you send your child off to university without checking out the campus, accommodation or local areas beforehand, you’ll probably be fraught with worry about them living in a rough area, getting in to trouble and just generally being unhappy. Your imagination will come up with all sorts of bad scenarios (which, trust us, are unlikely to come true).
By checking it all out on an open day, you’ll be reassured that your child is not heading to the depths of hell, but an environment where they will feel safe, supported and happy.
Knowing you are happy with the area and the uni and that it gets your stamp of approval will also reassure your child – especially if they are nervous about moving far from home.
3. You can see if your child (and you) is getting value for their money
Going to university is expensive. £9k+ per year expensive. And, let’s face it, even though your student will be getting a student loan, it’s highly likely that you’ll be helping them out financially, even if it’s just with accommodation or living expenses.
Heading to an open day and checking out the quality of the facilities and learning environment and speaking directly to lecturers and support staff, and checking out the accommodation options will help you determine if your child will be getting good value for money.
4. It'll help you bond with your child
Soon, your child will be heading to uni and becoming an independent adult. The thought of this might sadden you (unless, of course, you can’t wait to have a child-free house!!), so going to an open day and helping them make the decision of where to fly the nest to, will give you that one last bonding opportunity!
Why not make an open day visit in to a mini-holiday/road trip. Stay overnight and use the extra time to check out the local shops or attractions or go out for a nice meal.
This will not only give you a better understanding of the town/city your child will soon be calling home – thus reassuring you – it will give you even more parent/child bonding time.