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Advice for StudentsLiving away from homeOnly in CardiffOpen DayTop TipsWhy University?

Best ways to find out about university if you can’t attend an Open Day

28 March 2023
A view of Cardiff Castle from Bute Park on my first visit
A view of Cardiff Castle from Bute Park on my first visit

Moving to university can be a young person’s biggest challenge. New people, new surroundings and a lot of new responsibilities that you’re not used to. That is why making the choice of what university you go to, and where, is one of the most important choices that you can make. This blog aims to provide you with insight on how to gain knowledge about universities. It’s particularly helpful if you can’t attend an Open Day in person, but I’d suggest that you do most of these things regardless to help you make the right choice.

Looking into universities when Covid was very much still impeding our lives was a challenge. Although I had every intention of having a gap year before attending university, I still applied, as it was advised to me by my sixth form. Consequently, I spent so much time browsing the internet when I couldn’t attend Open Days I have decided to share what was most helpful to me. 

Take a look at the website 

The Cardiff University website offers a wealth of course-specific information as well as more general university information to help familiarise yourself with its history, developments and future goals. You can also find information regarding accommodation. This is great for learning the factual basics about what’s on offer.

Take part in virtual tours 

You can take the virtual campus tour here, to familiarise yourself with where you will be spending most of your time during your studies. This is a good starting point for imagining what life in Cardiff is like. 

Arrange a visit when you can – and take the self-guided campus tour

Reading Little Women in Gin and Juice while exploring Cardiff

If you are unable to attend an Open Day but can make it to Cardiff on a different date, it is well worth the effort of a visit to the city. I found my solo day in Cardiff very useful in building my confidence in moving to the city. As well as being my first taste of solo travel, it encouraged me to engage with Cardiff as a local and experience some of the student life here. There is also a virtual tour which you can take to get to know the campus, don’t be afraid to stop people to ask questions as most people in Cardiff will be more than happy to help. The virtual tour guide, provided by the university, can be accessed here

Contact lecturers about academic questions and watch some free webinars

Cardiff offers some really great free webinars for sixth-form and college students to familiarise them with the application process for universities and help bridge the gap between college and university. This is definitely worth the time and is a helpful resource for applying to all universities. The virtual talks can be accessed here. If you still have subject-specific questions which are not answered by any of the resources, do not be afraid to contact lecturers. The Cardiff University ‘People’ page, available here,  can help you find the relevant staff if you search your subject. 

See what current students are doing with student vlogs and blogs

Finally, a great insight into life at university is to see what current students at the university are doing. Thankfully, there are so many resources available. Firstly, student YouTube channels – some of the channels I found helpful to ease my anxiety were Hannah Doe, Grace Natasha and Mina Cho. Another great resource is these blogs. You can find more blogs from Cardiff students here and more blogs from me here