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What to do on an Open Day

Eight top tips from current student, Elissa Day

You’re going to spend at least three years at the university you choose, so liking the campus is a very important factor in your decision! Campuses come in all shapes and sizes, and Liverpool is no exception.

By Elissa Day
Egyptology with Chinese Studies BA (Hons)


1. Visit the Student Union

The student union is the heart of any university. At Liverpool Guild of Students, there’s something going on every day, from vintage sales to concerts. It’s a great place to meet up with friends, or grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

On a typical day, you generally see people working on group projects in the Courtyard, hear music from the radio station or communal piano in the Street, see the elected student officers working on new projects in their office, and preparations being made for the next upcoming event. We’ve had Ed Sheeran, McBusted, Bongo’s Bingo, and even Craig Charles in recent times!

2. Go on a campus tour

You’re going to spend at least three years at the university you choose, so liking the campus is a very important factor in your decision! Campuses come in all shapes and sizes, and Liverpool is no exception.

Our campus is divided into North, South, and Central, and where you spend most of your time will depend on which subject you study (generally its arts humanities in the South Campus and sciences in the North Campus). However, the entire campus is readily accessible, and you can make it from one end to the other in about ten minutes.

Location is also important. Although Liverpool’s campus is not in the city centre, it’s only a ten-minute walk away, which means that trips to town don’t take long at all. On top of this, there are a fantastic number of shops dotted around campus, from Starbucks in the library to not one, not two, but three Subway outlets!

3. Visit the library

As far away as university may seem at this point in time, you will be spending some of your time in the library! It’s a good idea, therefore, to check out how it’s set up.

The Sydney Jones (arts and humanities) library at Liverpool, for example, has silent, quiet, and social study zones, and allows cold food and drinks to be brought in, something not common in school or college libraries. Each department has its own section, and there are communal areas as well.

Both libraries at Liverpool offer tours on open days, and if you have time, they’re a great way to orientate yourself with university life and facilities.

4. Visit some accommodation

You’re likely going to end up living in university accommodation for at least one year, if not more, so it’s advisable to see what every university has to offer. Liverpool has both on-campus and off-campus accommodation, so it’s a great idea to check out both as a comparison.

Whilst you may enjoy waking up close to your lectures, off-campus accommodation (Greenbank and Carnatic), are fantastically located, near the exciting Smithdown Road area, and Carnatic offers breakfast and dinner every day, meaning that you don’t have to worry about cooking whilst you settle in to university life.

Accommodation tours at Liverpool are led by students, meaning that you’ll be able to see what a real, inhabited bedroom looks like!

5. Attend at least one subject session

You may be dead set on a studying a particular subject at university, but if you are still exploring your options, this is a great opportunity to find out about subjects you may not have heard of before.

Liverpool, for example, has the Honours Select system for arts and humanities students, which means you can study a second subject in your first year. Incidentally, this was how I ended up on my course of Egyptology with Chinese!

6. Try some food

Again, you will be here for three years – see what the university has to offer in terms of its cuisine!

7. Find out about stuff like finance, study abroad etc

Like the library, this may all seem like the far distant future, but it’s interesting to see what kind of opportunities a university can offer. Handily, Liverpool houses all of these stands in an ‘Information Zone’, meaning that you can find out about a Year Abroad in China, scholarships and bursaries, and accommodation, all under one roof!

8. Bag some freebies!

When walking around the September open day, I spotted a great number of freebies, from pens, to lanyards, but the best freebie prize has to go to the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, who were giving away stress toys in the shape of pyramids!