I was in London this week, visiting University of the Arts London (UAL). This is the second University I’ve visited; the first being Hertfordshire which was – in my opinion – pretty hard to top. Hertfordshire just had a really friendly feel to it, and the campus tour itself was led by two really approachable, confident and informative students. Thankfully, because the students were so friendly I wasn’t shy about asking all the questions that I had written down to ask. Even with my mother, who was with me both times, pipping me to the post, asking all the Mum-sy questions like:
– What’s the security like?
– Is there an on sight doctors?
– Is there a bus stop nearby?
– Are there many places to eat on campus?
– How expensive have you found the Uni experience?
And while these are all questions I advise asking, if – like me – you have parents that know diddly squat about the whole University process I suggest you ask the students a few, more targeted questions yourself like:
– How many people are on their course and in their lectures?
– How much one-on-one time to they get with tutors?
– What’re the pros and cons of the University, in their opinion?
– What’s the town/city like to live in?
– Are the halls of residents nice to live in?
– How have they found the work load, and the support given?
– How much independent work are they expected to do?
– How difficult was it to find cheap accommodation after their first year?
Obviously, ask any questions you want answered, these are a few I had in mind to ask during both my tours and they’re also questions I got helpful answers to from the students. But mostly, I think the questions you ask mainly depends on what you’re worrying about, for instance, if you’re worried about financing yourself ask the students what kind of bursaries* the University offers, and how expensive the area is to live in. I think from the questions I asked it’s clear I’m concerned about the area I will be living in, the difficulty of the course and the availability of support if I find myself struggling. I felt I got the best answers and reassurance from the Hertfordshire University and that’s why I put it as my first choice, so it’s worth looking like a dick and asking the questions
*Bursaries and scholarships refer to financial help in addition to student loans and grants – the money does not have to be paid back. The terms ‘bursary’ and ‘scholarship’ are used interchangeably and each university has its own terminology