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Questions to ask on a university visit

Asking questions is the best way to find out if a university is right for you. But, what should you ask? Read on to find out more...

What questions should I be asking?
This will largely depend on what you want out of your university experience. It also depends on what you can find out elsewhere: asking about things that you can get from the university's website or prospectus is a wasted opportunity.

However, typical questions will include the following:
Ask admissions staff...
  • What scholarships, grants, bursaries and campus work opportunities are available?
  • How easy is it to get into an activity that interests you? (this activity could be anything from joining a sports club to writing for the student newspaper).
  • What orientation programmes are there for freshers?
  • What do you look for in an applicant?
Ask the faculty...
  • What do you like about teaching here? What are the students like?
  • Why is your course different from that at any other university?
  • Does your program offer opportunities for undergraduate research, study abroad or internships?
  • Tell me about the alumni (graduates) from your course. Where are they, and what are they doing now?
  • How much teaching time, and what other learning resources, does the course offer?
  • Can you recommend any reading that would help with my application?
Ask the students:
  • Why did you choose this university?
  • What do you like best/ hate the most about it?
  • Do your professors know you by name? Do you see them outside of class?
  • Are they excited about teaching?
  • What are the classes like—lecture, discussion, presentation?
  • Is the work easier or harder than you expected?
  • How often do you see your tutor? What for?
  • Was it easy to get to know people here?
  • What’s life like in halls of residence?
  • What clubs and societies are you involved in? Is it easy to get into the orchestra/chorus/play or athletic team of your choice?
  • What’s the campus like at weekends? What’s there to do both on and off campus?
  • Do you feel safe here?
  • When you ask for help, do you get it and do faculty and staff genuinely seem to care about you?
Finally, ask yourself:
  • Can I see myself studying here for three years or longer?
  • Will the course here interest and challenge me?
  • Would I enjoy spending time with the people I met at this university?
Remember to take notes of everything you find out during your university visit. Don’t rely on your memory, especially if you are planning to visit several universities. If you are still unsure whether this is the right university for you, review your notes or perhaps make a second visit.
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