ip target image
You are currently browsing our site with content tailored to students in your country

Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.
The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

Virtual open days: What are they?

What does ‘a virtual open day’ mean and how can they help international students when deciding where to study abroad?

share image

Let’s start by answering this simple question: What is an open day at university? 


An open day is when a university invites future students to visit the campus, meet academic staff, look at the facilities and accommodation and much, much more. A virtual open day doesn’t happen face-to-face but online. 


Why do virtual open days exist?


In previous years, you would visit a campus in-person before you decided to apply to that university. As mentioned above, this was a way for students to get a better idea of what it would be like to study there. However it’s not usually possible for international students to visit a campus in person. 


Flights and accommodation to visit a campus can be very expensive (especially if you’re a family member comes with you too).  Ideally, you’d want an opportunity to ‘visit’ each university you’re thinking of applying to, as an international student, this becomes even more difficult.It isn’t just the cost you’d need to factor in but also the time it takes. You may not have enough time to take a trip abroad if you’re also completing high school exams at the time or have other commitments (similarly, your parents or family member may not be able to take time off work to accompany you.


How can a virtual open day help international students?


As a result of the pandemic, the increase in virtual tours, live web chats, Skype/Zoom and video content (as well as faster internet speeds), virtual open days are much more common. These allow students to take a tour of a university campus from your home country, online through your desktop, mobile or tablet device. You can do it at home, school, work wherever is more convenient. 

Students now have access to each university they are interested in, which allows you to make a more informed decision. Plus it’s free to participate. Virtual open days might also be referred to as ‘virtual fairs’ or in Canada and the USA they’re called an ‘Open House’.



How to take a virtual tour


You will usually have to register in advance to get access to the virtual open day. This is very easy and you simply have to give a few details about yourself. Usually universities will promote their virtual tours months or weeks in advance on their websites and social media platforms. This is especially true if there is some sort of live, interactive element like question and answer (Q&A) sessions with staff, academics and other students. You can use these sessions to connect with the academic staff or students and ask any questions you might have.


On the day of the virtual open day, you will normally have to go to the university’s website or click on a link which has been sent to you, to access it. Virtual open days will cover all areas of your student life at that university and last a couple of hours (but you can leave and come back while it is in progress). Tours of campus will also be available for you to navigate and explore.



Make sure you prepare in advance for the virtual open day. Plan which sessions you want to attend, make a note of any questions you have and which faculties and departments you want to visit. 


Here’s some more advice on how to prepare for a university open day online:



 After the virtual open day


You can usually go to the university’s website any time after the open day and access the content on demand. This is perfect if you forget to ask something or check something out; you can go back as often as you wish to help you make your decision. 



Must read

article Img

IELTS vs. TOEFL: Which should you take?

All international students who want to study in an English-speaking country need to show they have the required level of English. There are a few English language exams that are accepted by universities all over the world, we’re going to focus on two of these: IELTS and TOEFL.   Before we continue, let’s look at what these names mean. IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. TOEFL is the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

article Img

Applying to university: Essential documents you need

You’ll learn as an international student, that nothing can be done unless you can successfully prove who you are. In countries where immigration policy and security are of utmost importance, this can be easier said than done, with long procedures involving lots of paperwork and waiting.   Originals vs. Copies However, you can make things a lot easier for yourself if you keep to hand a file containing the following important documentation. This

article Img

Understanding English language test scores

If you’ve been researching and investigating studying abroad you’ll know by now that being able to demonstrate your English language proficiency is an essential part of the application process if you intend to study at an English medium university. Universities require you to submit scores from approved English language tests to show that you can meet the criteria needed for academic study.   One thing that can prove tricky is understanding how the