Last February, listening to a lecture in Hendrix Hall, I realised that two years prior I had sat in the exact same room at my offer holders visit day. It was on that day when I knew that the University of York was where I wanted to spend the next three years of my life.
Since then, I have also experienced visit days in my role as a Student Ambassador. I still really value that opportunity the day gave me to ask questions, learn more about the course, and view the accommodation. I truly believe that I would not be sat here right now, writing this blog, if I hadn’t have attended that day (in addition to revising for my A-Levels, of course!)
A visit day for offer holders has traditionally involved a visit to the University, however, the current situation has meant that this is not possible. Having worked on a number of virtual open and visit days, I can assure you that whilst you will not be there in person, the content and opportunity to learn more about the University remains exactly the same.
This blog will provide you with some top tips in order to make the most out of your online visit day, as well as providing some questions that you could ask Student Ambassadors to gain an insight into what they love the most about life at York!
Tip number one: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Whether it relates to your subject, the city of York, or the best place to go for a coffee- there will be someone who knows the answer! The day will be predominantly focussed around your course. This will be your opportunity to ask all things subject related: entry requirements, module content, course structure. Afterwards, you will also have the opportunity to ask Student Ambassadors (potentially myself) any other general questions you may have.
Tip number two: Keep notes. This is something that I did on my visit day. This was so I could always refer back to anything that I later wanted to clarify. I would also encourage you to record your feelings – it’s good to remember exactly how you felt on the day!
Tip number three: Do your research. In addition to asking questions, researching the University and your specific course beforehand can really useful. It is a good way of figuring out what aspects of York you would like to know more about.
Tip number four: Enjoy yourself! Choosing where you will spend the next chapter of your life is exciting! Take the opportunity to meet new people and chat with others who share your interests!
Although every Student Ambassadors’ experience is different, here are some examples of questions you could ask in order to find out more about University life:
What made York stand out for you as a University?
Personally, I loved the fact that the University is campus based. It is all contained on two campuses, East and West, instead of being scattered across the city, which is only a short walk away. Another stand out factor for me was the friendly atmosphere that was conveyed on my visit day. This has extended throughout my time at York, and has continued to make me feel like a very valued part of the community.
What made you choose your first-year accommodation?
York has a collegiate system, which means that your accommodation is also your college. This really appealed to me. I liked the idea of being part of a smaller community within a much larger one. There are also an array of ways to immerse yourself in college life: from playing in sports teams, helping out in Freshers Week, to being part of the Committee.
However, I chose to place room type as my preference instead of a specific college, as I knew that all colleges offered very similar opportunities. It is also worth noting that although I didn’t get my first choice of accommodation, I absolutely loved my time there!
Why do you like York as a city?
Coming from a rural town, York was the perfect city for me. Whilst it isn’t too big, it definitely isn’t too small. There are so many things to do. My personal favourites include visiting heritage sites, shopping, walking the walls, and, of course, eating!
If you like going on nights out, there is a varied and vibrant nightlife. One thing that I always tell prospective students is how safe I have always felt. There are regular buses that run throughout the night, and there are always Nightsafe volunteers (students from the University,) who are dotted around the city on student nights to provide assistance if you are having any difficulties.
How did you find settling in at the University?
Again, the collegiate system is really useful when you’re finding your feet. I found that my Freshers Week was so busy that I didn’t have time to miss home! However, if you were to find moving in difficult, there are numerous points of contact from both staff and students within your College, and the University itself. You will not be alone, and there is always support available if you need it.
What was your experience with finding off campus housing?
Within the city of York there is a vast array of choice for both second and third-year housing. There is a variety of different locations, sizes and prices to choose from. However, there is no pressure to move into private accommodation. Colleges always try to make rooms available for second and third years if they would like to remain on campus. The Student Hub also provide support for students in moving off campus if they require it.
I hope I have encouraged you to book a offer holders visit day, and see for yourself how welcoming, positive and inclusive the University of York is.