Study abroad is a dream for millions of students around the world. Students in 12th standard, the ones about to complete graduation – all of them aspire to be able to study in the institute of their choice.
A great part of applying to universities and colleges abroad is trying to find out more and more information about the institutes. Visiting the campus on tours is one of the best ways to do so. It helps you to figure out what the environment on the campus is, and whether or not you’ll be able to fit in.
However, every student can’t travel abroad and experience these campus tours. And anyway, visiting the campuses puts a cap on the number of institutes you can collect information about. This is where universities fairs come in. It is no secret that these fairs present the best opportunity for students to gather authentic information, right from the representatives of these institutes. Students looking to study abroad naturally have a ton of confusion and questions. Since these fairs have the colleges’ representatives coming in, you get the chance to get rid of all these doubts.
What are universities fairs?
In simple words, universities fairs are gatherings or events arranged by a committee or colleges for the benefit of students. These avenues present students with the chance to share and collect information regarding their dream institutes. At the same time, the participating colleges get the chance to promote their programs, share prospectus, and interact with prospective students. More often than not, the individuals who represent colleges in these fairs are admission offices, students, or Ph.D. enrolled students.
There are several reasons why you would not want to miss out on an opportunity to attend one of these fairs.
Here, we list some of these reasons:
- An unparalleled setting
Universities fairs create a setting that brings together the applicants and their desired destinations. They are one of the only avenues where applicants come together under one roof and get the chance to interact with members of their desired institutes. These fairs allow eligible students not to just talk to these representatives but also to gain a clear idea of what their chances are of receiving an acceptance letter.
Good colleges and universities are always on the lookout for diversifying their student body. A major part of this is attracting international students from all over the world. As a result, these universities fairs become equally important for the colleges as well. So, in more ways than one, universities fairs are crucial for both the applicants as well as the universities and colleges. Therefore, if you end up missing out on the opportunity of attending these fairs, you’ll be accruing yourself to a huge disadvantage. The primary reason is that as international students or applicants, you can never have too much information regarding the dream colleges. Universities fairs give you that opportunity. Losing out on the opportunity is surely not a good idea.
- Get tips regarding the application
If you happen to attend a university fair before applying, it can help you enhance your chances significantly. For many students, the main benefit of attending a university fair is that they get to have their questions answered in person. More often than not, it happens in an informal discussion with admissions staff. During these meetings with the representative, you get a lot of chances to ask questions regarding your application. This is the right time and opportunity to do so, and you shouldn’t be shy here.
The very fact that you are at a fair tells the admissions officer that you value the dream of attending a college abroad. Therefore, these officers usually share what they look for in a candidate when assessing applications, what common mistakes to avoid, and how to go the extra mile to make yourself stand out. If you ask more questions, it shows your enthusiasm level and interest to study at their university. If you find the right people to talk to, you may just return home from the fair with a lot of valuable information that puts you in a seat of advantage.
- Get information regarding scholarships
It is no secret that most of the students who are looking to study abroad look for all and any form of relief that they can get in terms of fees. Getting some sort of financial aid can be the difference between a student attending a college or missing out on the opportunity. However, you can only ensure that you do your best in terms of applications when you have all the information regarding all forms of scholarships and aids. At these fairs, since you get the chance to have one on one conversations with admissions offices, you get to enquire all about scholarships that their college offers and how you can increase your chances.
Moreover, leaving a good impression upon the admissions officer might just enhance your chances of getting admission. At times, colleges and universities even offer exclusive opportunities to attendees of these fairs. There are also opportunities for scholarship and aid that universities tend to keep exclusively for the attendees of such university fairs.
Another reason you would not want to miss out on such a fair is that at times, many bank representatives are also present there. They tend to talk to students and share information related to loans and repayments. Gathering all this information well in advance is surely an advantage.
- Have a clear idea about programs
One of the obstacles that prevent students from making the most of their application process is a lack of knowledge. Although it is always suggested for a student to conduct research at their level, attending a university fair can be a better strategy. Attending such a fair might help you discover options that you may not have an idea about or options that you may have missed out on. Since researching only lets you know what is available on the website, the idea that you’ll have about the campus life and opportunities available there is going to be limited. However, talking to a university representative at one of these fairs will help you hear the story directly from the horse’s mouth.
If you attend university fairs with an open mind, you are bound to discover new opportunities. Students who are clear about the idea of studying abroad but not sure what course to pursue are bound to benefit significantly from each visit to universities fairs. If you are someone who does not have an idea about what course or discipline you wish to pursue higher studies, attending a university fair might just help you walk out with the required clarity on what courses are on the table, if not on what course you should pursue.
- Get exclusive opportunities
It is standard practice for the universities and colleges that participate in these fairs to keep a record of all student attendees. Since these institutes are also looking to maximize the number of international students, they make attempts to keep in touch and attract students. As a result, if you attend a university fair, you will likely be invited to an event or gathering, such as a seminar, talk, panel discussion, etc. shortly. Also, since attending a fair indicates that you are serious and relatively more likely to take admission, these colleges and universities will most likely invite you to Q&A sessions and doubt-solving seminars.
Since you’ll probably collect some sort of contact information from universities and colleges, it will help you solve any doubt related to the application process that you may come across shortly. Overall, attending a fair will lead to you getting a lot of exclusive opportunities that may help you draft your application better and enjoy certain valuable benefits.
Things to keep in mind while attending a university fair
- While attending a university fair, you must go around and talk to as many college and university representatives as possible. It will help you maximize your chances of gaining valuable information and also leave a lasting impression on the representatives.
- If you are somebody who usually shies away from talking to strangers, it is a good idea to prepare yourself in whatever manner you feel comfortable.
- Make sure you express your interest to join the program. Although the college representative will be more than willing to share all information, it does not hurt to show that you are equally eager to pursue higher education at their institute. If not, you may just miss out on gathering some valuable information.
- When you go to these universities fairs, it is always a good idea to prepare a list of questions beforehand. Since these occasions are quite valuable and, likely, you won’t be visiting a lot of these fairs, it would help to get all your doubts cleared in one go. And anyway, even if you are planning on attending multiple fairs, it is a possibility that you may not encounter representatives of the same colleges everywhere.
- Make it a point to end the conversation properly. Say thank you, smile, and shake hands.
Questions you should ask in a university fair to the representatives:
- What kind of programs exists for the discipline I am looking to pursue?
If you already have a clear idea about what discipline or subject you wish to pursue, you should ask this question to the concerned college’s representative. Also, it is a great conversation starter. Once you get to know all the programs, you can do a deep dive into the program you think will be the best for you. Also, this way, you can eliminate the schools and colleges that do not offer the programs you are looking to pursue.
- How can I apply for accommodation?
Being an international student, you will probably want to ensure you know where you will be staying when you land in your dream college. An on-campus residence is always considered safe and the best place for a student to live in. It will give you easy access to all university resources at your disposal. Also, residences on campus are relatively more comfortable and you get to live with your college mates. Asking this question will help you reduce a lot of work that you may need to do later.
- What are the admission requirements for the program I’m interested in?
It is no secret that different colleges have different admission procedures. If you know what the admission requirements are, you can ensure that you stand a chance. Even if there is something that you do not possess, knowing the requirements at least gives you the chance to be prepared and enhance your resume. If the college values extra professional courses, you can maybe take one in the time you have.
- What kind of financial aid is on offer?
This is a critical question and one that every international student should ask at a university fair. Applying for financial aid is as complicated a process as applying for admission. Knowing all the requirements and the kinds of aid on offer will help you significantly increase your chances of getting financial aid.
- What kind of job opportunities can one expect?
Since the ultimate aim of joining a college or university abroad is to enhance your career, you need to ask this question as soon as possible and collect the required information. If you know the kind of work and employment prospects that the college can offer you, the chances of you making the right decision increase.
- What is the usual class size?
You’re not moving abroad for the view. Therefore, you would want to ensure that you land in a college that offers good attention to all students. Enquiring about the class size at the college might help you figure out if you will get the required resources and attention.
University fairs are significantly helpful to all attendees, including the college representatives as well as the students. The students get to acquire all necessary information under one roof and also compare the offerings of a wide range of colleges and universities. This leads to the decision of finalizing the college much easier since it becomes clear as to what universities offer the opportunities you are looking for.
Therefore, if you are a student studying abroad or planning to, you should grab all opportunities of attending a university fair.