Over the coming weeks and months, third level educational facilities across Ireland will be opening their doors to prospective students. Open days are a valuable way to gain an insight into student life at a particular college. Many students focus on the facts and figures of the courses on offer, without considering or experiencing what other aspects of life at a particular college might be like.
Preparation is key to making the most of college open days. Before going to an open day, make sure you are studying the required subjects to be eligible for the course. You would be amazed at the amount of students who list courses on their CAO application for which they don’t have the minimum entry requirements.
You are sacrificing a day or half-day of quality study time (or an evening of top quality grinds with us!) so it pays to throughly research the course or courses you are considering. You can do this through college websites, prospectuses or on www.qualifax.ie
On the day, as you move around the various presentations and stands, think about what it would be like to study and/or live at that college. Do you feel relaxed? Your gut instinct is often right with matters like this, so trust it. Talk to existing students if possible to get a feel for what the college is like. If a college is happy for you to chat to existing students, it is usually a good sign regarding the quality of services they provide.
Finally, one helpful tip after returning home from open days is to sit quietly for a few minutes and jot down any impressions you have of the day. These can be key in helping you make what is a very important decision before the deadline of July 1st, 2016.
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