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Okay so now you have got your offers from the universities you have applied to, it’s time to decide which one will be your Firm and your Insurance, right? I remember thinking that it would be a hard decision, especially because I hadn’t yet visited any of the universities I had got offers from. I was wrong, because once I went to Experience Days and met the students and staff at each, my decision was easy. So here are five reasons why you should attend the University of Chester's Experience Day:

  1. You get to see and meet your department lecturers

Meeting the team that is going to support you through your degree for the next three or four years is essential. They will be the ones that can sometimes make or break your experience of a university. For example, I just didn’t like the feel of some university departments that I visited as an applicant, or I felt like the cohort would be too big and I would get lost in the crowd of students. However, at Chester, I got the feeling that the staff were friendly and welcoming; the year group wouldn’t be too big; and they reassured me that there were measures in place to make sure I and other students wouldn’t get forgotten about (four years later and this is still true!). To me, those were important factors - you may have other ones, but it is a good idea to figure out or have an idea of what you are looking for in a teaching team before you go. You could always research a few key questions you could ask staff if you can't think of any. 

  1. You get to visit the accommodation

You might have already done this if you came on an Open Day, so you’ll feel like you already know all your options. Even if you have already been or especially if you haven’t, looking at accommodation is vital. It will be where you will be living for at least your first year away from home. By visiting all the accommodation options available, you can get an idea of what you want when it comes to applying for accommodation later in the year.   The University of Chester will show a range of accommodation options at an Experience Day, so you can view different board types and price ranges, ensuring that you get a picture of what the accommodation is like when you come to apply for it. There are also partnership accommodation options available too that will be open on the day. 

  1. Campus tours

Again, you may have already done this if you came on an Open Day. I sometimes think they’re good to do again if you have visited lots of other universities, as you may have got bits of different universities mixed up. If you haven’t been to the University before, they are important to do. Campus tours are great because they give you a feel of the University as a whole. They will show you the type of services and support that is on offer to you during your degree and give you the opportunity to ask any questions, either about the University or about student life as a whole. They also give you a sense of the size of a university, so that you can get an idea of whether a smaller campus (such as Chester), is what you want, or whether you would prefer a bigger campus, or even a city campus, where bits of the campus are spread around everywhere.  At the University of Chester’s Experience Days, the campus tours are delivered by students like me, so you also get the chance to quiz us on student life in general as we tour the campus.

  1. The support departments

During an Experience Day you will get to meet a variety of the support departments available to you during your degree – for example, Residential Living (accommodation), Careers and Student Support, to name just a few.  These departments all have helpdesks at the Experience Day so you can chat to staff and get all the answers you need about anything that is troubling you, or anything that couldn’t be answered by a Student Ambassador/ different member of staff.

  1. The location

The final top reason for visiting an Experience Day is having a look around the city or town. This will be your home for the next three years, so it is essential that you love it. To me there is no point in attending a university where you think the course is great, but the location is not ideal for you, because you are more likely to not enjoy your time. The wider location is where you will socialise, shop and explore, so it is important that it holds the things you need in a university city or town. I remember walking into Chester on a cold and rainy day and falling in love with it! Each time I go into Chester I still find a new beautiful aspect of the city that reminds me why I chose to come here in the first place.

So those are the top five reasons why you should attend an Experience Day. Of course, there are loads more, but these five were the most important to me, and will really help you to make the best decision you can about where the next three (or more) years of your life will be based. So book on to an Experience Day if you can, and good luck!

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