Hunting for the Right School: Tips for Online Info Sessions
Advice on getting the most out of online university events so you can make the right choices for your education.
If you're in Grade 11 or 12, the beginning of a new school year means it's time to start exploring your options when it comes to university. Understandably, this year is a little different. Rather than having universities visit your school or attending university fairs, you'll likely attend a few online university events.
Online events can be an overwhelming experience. To help guide you through the process, here are some tips for getting the most out of your virtual events.
Before the event
Preparing for online presentations will allow you to have a better understanding of the content that's shared. A good place to start is by looking at the university's website, getting to know the types of programs and resources offered by the institution. This can give you a big head start so when university representatives talk about co-op or the differences between a major and a minor, you'll know what they're referring to.
Consider watching with a buddy, perhaps a friend or family member. Talking about the presentation material will help you better understand items you may have missed or help you remember the webinar later. Also, go to the event website a few minutes early, especially if it's a platform you haven't used (to make sure the audio is working) or in case you're asked to register.
Think of some questions in advance you might ask. For example, find out about what makes the school different and what it's like to be a student on campus. These sorts of questions will give you the feeling of what it'll be like to study there. If you're unsure of what to ask, here are some suggestions of questions to ask before applying to university.
Based on the information in the presentation, you'll probably have some follow-up questions. Don't be afraid to post your questions in the chat; chances are other students might have the same question. Also keep track of the other questions asked. Not only could you see an answer to your questions, but you may also see questions you hadn't thought about.
Presenters want you to get the answers you need about their school and programs, so send your questions in! It's also okay to reach out and ask to speak with someone directly after the webinar. Ask the presenter for details on how to contact them with specific questions.
Taking notes can help you focus (and remember key information). This is a win-win because you pay attention and keep track of points to follow up with.
It may be useful to keep a document handy with research you've done. If there are any new points that you learn during the webinar, you can add them to the list so that you have a reference for later.
Universities will be hosting multiple events throughout the school year. Sign up for mailing lists or follow schools on social media so you can be in the know about upcoming deadlines or events you don't want to miss.
If you're looking for advice from current university students, be sure to subscribe to Waterloo's blogs for tips on choosing the university and program that's right for you, financing your education, and more.
We hope these tips help you make the most of any online university events you attend!
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