Preparing for a University Fair

Research your study options

It’s definitely a good idea to spend some more time researching your study options before attending the event. This means you’ll be able to really benefit from the specialist knowledge of the university representatives and advisers on the day, rather than just using them to find out information you could have checked online. Go back through your UniQuest work.

Orient yourself on arrival

When you first arrive at the event, it may be tempting to just dive straight into a conversation with the nearest university admissions representative, but try to pause and give yourself time to get orientated. You’ll receive a floorplan showing the layout of the university fair, including information about all the schools attending and where to find them, so use this to plan your route.

Also remember that the event is likely to be especially busy towards the start, so don’t worry if you’re not able to speak to a particular university representative straight away – it’s worth waiting for a quieter moment when you can get his/her full attention!

Keep an open mind

While it is useful to come prepared and with a clear focus, try to balance this out by also remaining open to new study options and possibilities. You might find your ideal course exists in a form you didn’t previously know about, or that there’s a niche scholarship with your name on it in a country you hadn’t previously considered. Remember that all the universities attending the event are keen to recruit students from your region, and they’ve all potentially got something to offer you.

Talk to other candidates

Of course the main reason for attending a university fair is the chance to meet university admissions representatives and experts face-to-face. However, if you get the chance, try and speak to other prospective students around you as well, or at least listen to the questions they’re asking. After all, they will have done their research too, and could also be good sources of information or inspiration. There will be over 4000 students attending this event…

Keep an eye on the time

The event itself is likely to go very quickly once it begins, so make sure you don’t get too caught up in one conversation and miss out on other opportunities. You could consider setting an alarm on your watch or phone to warn you when the event is nearly over, so you can make sure you’ve collected all the information you need. Event staff will announce the start of each presentation and panel discussion in advance, so listen out for announcements!

Bring pen, paper and a bag

Do make sure you bring a pen and paper so you can make a note of anything you want to follow up later. You might think you’ll remember, but there will be a lot to take in. You’re also likely to end up with a collection of information packs and prospectuses, so make sure you have a bag to carry them in.

Be ready to sell yourself

Remember that while you’re assessing universities, the university representatives at the event are also on the lookout for top applicants. This isn’t an interview, but it won’t hurt to prepare as if it was one. So think about your appearance, how you introduce yourself, and the impression you’re making through the quality of the questions you’re asking.

Prepare some questions

As part of your research, write down a few questions or issues you’d like to discuss. These might be very specific, or simply a check list of topics, such as course structure, university admissions requirements, application deadlines and tuition fees. Don’t make this too long, or you’ll never get through it; aim for no more than five key points, focusing on the issues most important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. College representatives love talking about their schools and do it all the time, so there is likely nothing they haven’t heard before. This is your opportunity to find out key information that will impact the next four years of your life, so don’t pass up the opportunity to talk to a representative at a college fair because you were too afraid to ask! Here is some guidance on what you might ask….

Questions to Ask

These questions will get you thinking about university and the things you should know before you make your decision. Review these questions in order to make the most of your visit to the World Universities fair. Think back to UNiQuest and share with your parents this weekend!

Ask yourself:

What programs or courses interest me?
Which subject(s) am I good at?
How many years do I plan to be in university?
How will I pay for university?
Is living at home a possibility/preference?
Do I want to attend a small, medium or large university?
Is the look and feel of the campus I choose important to me?

Ask university representatives, alumni and current students:

Admission Requirements

What courses are required in order to be admitted to the programs that interest me?
Are there additional requirements for admission to the program that interests me?
Can I go into a professional program (e.g., law school, optometry) directly from secondary school?
Do you accept courses that have been taken through night school, summer school and correspondence?

Programs

What is an undergraduate degree?
Does your university have the program that interests me?
What is the difference between a professional program and a master’s degree?
Where can I get more information about a particular program?
Can I look at your course calendar or visit your website for more information?

Finances

What are the costs involved in attending your university for one year?
Do you award scholarships automatically for International Students or do I need to apply?
Would I be considered a domestic or international student?

Lifestyle

How do I apply for residence?
Is residence guaranteed?
Which varsity sports are available?
What sports can I play if I’m not on a varsity team?
What campus support services are offered, especially for new students?
What are the first-year class sizes like at your university?
Do class sizes vary according to the program I choose?

Next Steps

When are your campus tours and open houses available?

 

More advice from CollegeBoard (the SAT people!)

Questions to Ask College Reps 3E