4 June 2019
The people who attend USC’s Open Days come from all walks of life. There are some that have never set foot on a university campus before (close to 50 per cent of USC’s current students are the first in their immediate family to go to uni). And for others, uni may have been a well-trodden path.
The good news is that no matter where you, or your child, fall in the broad spectrum of university experience, signing up to one of USC’s Open Days is certainly a step in the right direction.
You’re never too young, or too old, to come along.
As a mum who now has older children, I know how they grow from high school student to university student in a blink. (In fact, they seem to grow from kindy kid to university student in a blink.)
I have taken my own children to university Open Days from the time they were in early high school. And because my younger children were tag-alongs with the older ones, they had a few Open Days under their belts before we went looking just for them.
And from having been at my fair share of Open Days, I’ve seen an increasing number of younger high school students attending, as it is about Year 9 and 10 that students begin to make firmer subject selections. And these students can even use Open Day to explore taking a USC Headstart course, where they can complete university subjects during Year 11 and 12.
Everyone is welcome at USC Open Days, whether you are a high school student, or planning to be a more mature student. My own return to study came about from a visit to a USC Open Day with my eldest son. At the time, he was considering a science degree and I thought I would have a look at doing some study in creative writing. I met the Professor of Creative Writing at that Open Day, and went on to complete a doctorate, with him as my supervisor.
“It’s the vibe of the thing.”
To steal a quote from one of my favourite Australian films (The Castle), Open Days are really where you get a ‘feel’ for each uni.
Lots of research shows that face-to-face and on-campus experiences are one of the best ways for students and parents to understand career options and university opportunities. When my own children were still in high school, they met academics and students and chatted with them about study options, and I know this gave my children a big advantage when they looked at selecting programs.
Get in early and register
This year, USC has new programs, new teachers and even a whole new campus, with Australia’s newest university campus, USC Moreton Bay, opening at Petrie in 2020.
It helps to register to attend Open Days, because then you get all information you need to make the most of your day. As a family, we have always registered for Open Days, which meant we maintained contact with USC afterwards and were always up-to-date with exactly what was on offer.
With all of this said, I thought I’d share my top tips for Open Day.
My Open Day tips:
- Register online: Keep up to date with news and information as the Open Day approaches, and this also keeps you in touch with the university after Open Day.
- Make a plan: Have a guiding plan for what you want to see and who you want to speak with during the day. Be focussed and flexible.
- Take a mate: Have a support person, parent or friend, who will go with you and be your cheer squad through the day.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you or your child haven’t been to a uni before, speaking to uni staff and students can seem daunting, but you will find that USC’s staff are really easy to talk to.
Upcoming USC Open Days for 2019
- USC Sunshine Coast, Sunday 21 July
- USC Caboolture, Sunday 4 August
Oh and of course, one final tip... have fun!
Dr Janet Lee received her Doctorate of Creative Arts from USC. She is also mum to four children who have all completed (or are completing) their undergraduate degrees at USC. Janet lives on the Sunshine Coast with their dog, some very spoilt chickens and her wonderful, noisy family. Janet is a regular contributor to USC's Parent Lounge.