24 May 2023 | Location: Sheffield, Nottingham

Got an open day booked in and feeling nervous about how to handle it as a parent?

You’re there to support your child, as you would in any other situation. But it can be difficult to know when to be involved and when to step back.

The best advice is to let your child tell you. It totally depends on them, who they are, how they handle situations and how involved they want you to be. It’s a good idea to discuss how you want to work the day before you actually arrive. If they have trouble asking questions, then they might want you to be there for certain aspects of the day to help support them.

However, there will also be lots of things for you to do and people to talk to on the day, see our ideas below.


Talk to other students

Do you want to know more about student life on campus? This is a great opportunity to ask those questions to actual students as most universities will hire students to help work the events. You can then pass on some info to your child when you next see them or whilst you’re on your way home.

Parent and guardian activities

Typically, universities will have a parent and guardian talk. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the university and get lots of your questions answered. It’s also an opportunity to talk to other parents and see how everyone else is finding the hunt for the right university

However, if you don’t get your questions answered, then make sure to ask either in the talk or with individual members of staff after the talk. And they don’t just have to be academic questions, make sure you make note of your questions and categorise them, that way you can ask who the most suitable person would be to talk to about each area.

Go on an accommodation tour

There will often be tours of the accommodation, so it’s good to go around and get a feel for what is on offer. Make sure to take lots of pictures (if allowed) and ask any questions to might have about what’s on offer, both for the first year and other years afterwards.

Grab some food

If your child is busy doing activities and you’re not really sure what to do, then go for a walk around the campus, grab a coffee or have some food. Most campuses will have somewhere to buy food, with some even providing it for you along with hot drinks! Take some time to let your child do what they need to before you catch back up with them.

See the surrounding areas

It’s a really good idea to try and see bits of the wider city if possible, during your visit, especially if you’re travelled a further distance. The city is just as important as the university campus itself and you want to make sure you’re seeing what else it has to offer.

Overall, stay objective

It’s important to stay objective throughout the process. Offer advice when asked for it, but otherwise it’s your child’s choice and everyone is different, they’ll be the one living and studying there, so the choice is theirs.

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