Studying part-time delivers great benefits, but it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Upgrading your qualifications can assist you in changing careers or moving up the ladder, but it will require short-term sacrifices.
Your choice of college can play a huge part in your overall experience, so it’s a good idea to do plenty of research before deciding where will suit you best. Attending a college Open Evening is one of the best ways to select where you should apply to study.
Here are our top 6 reasons why:
1. Courses: Courses vary from college to college, even for the same subjects, so find out as much as you can about the course that you’re considering. Is it accredited by a reputable body? Is it on the National Framework of Qualifications? How is the course structured, and who is teaching on it? Open Evenings are the perfect opportunity to talk to the lecturers and find out as much as you can about what the course offers and what you will be learning.
2. Advice: If you’re not exactly sure of which course of study is right for you or even what career path you’d like to follow, you can talk it through with the staff and lecturers on the night. Get a feel for what’s right for you and if they can help you to reach your full potential.
3. Facilities: Use the Open Evening as a chance to familiarise yourself with the facilities on offer. Tour the campus, check out the library, restaurants, common areas and ask lots of questions about what’s available to you. Are the premises clean and is the equipment and technology up-to-date?
4. Chat to other prospective students: Use the event as an opportunity to discuss the courses you are considering with other prospective students. Why are they considering this particular college? Have they attended other open days, and how did they get on? How does this course and college compare with others they have researched? Share your own experiences too.
5. Local Area: Use this as your chance to get to know the area – is it easy to get to? Does it feel safe? Is it convenient and are there good transport links? What about amenities – are there cafes, bars or restaurants nearby? Is that important to you? Ask the staff at the event about the main attractions of the area and consider whether this is somewhere that’s both comfortable and convenient for you to attend.
6. Atmosphere: Take the chance to soak up the general atmosphere. Ask yourself: does it feel right? Can you imagine yourself studying here? Do the staff and the students seem friendly and happy? Trust your instincts – if you like the general vibe and atmosphere, chances are, you’re going to feel at home.
If you’re thinking of part-time study in Dublin, why not call into one of the Open Evenings we are running at National College of Ireland?
Check out more info on our part-time courses or call 1850 221 721 for more details.
This post was originally written in July 2013 and updated in May 2018.
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