How to get the best out of the Fulbright College Day

Posted on 6th September 2016

On September 23rd and 24th 2016, our partners the Fulbright Commission will once again be hosting their famous College Day in London. It’s the day that hundreds of North American universities pitch up to promote themselves to British students who are interested in going to America (or Canada) for undergraduate studies. If you have even the smallest inclination to go abroad for university, this is the one event you shouldn’t miss.

But it’s not just an opportunity to window shop for a degree – it’s also an opportunity to find out information form the horse’s mouth, as well as to promote yourself to the universities you're interested in.

With over 170 exhibitors it can be an overwhelming experience, but with a bit of planning you can make this day a very productive one. Here’s how:

1) Register early
Make sure you’re registered for the College Day here. You must have a ticket to go, and entrance times are allocated in advance. You can also register to attend seminars, which we would highly recommend.

2) Turn up on time
Don’t be late for your allocated time, or you will miss out on valuable time in the fair!

3) Research universities before you go
It’s tempting to turn up and just look around for what takes your fancy, but this is an easy way to miss a lot of good colleges. Take the time to read about the exhibitors online (here) before you go, and work out where they are in the floor plan.

4) Visit a range of universities
Don’t just head for the obvious big name colleges like Harvard and Princeton. Those colleges are good, but they will also have huge queues (there will be some 6000 students there!) Pick one or two big ones to speak to, but also choose universities from across the USA – choose some big ones, some small ones, some Liberal Arts, some technical, some in hot places, some in cold places. This will give a you a good feel for what’s out there. Choose a few you’ve never heard of too – some of these will surprise you at how well regarded they are and what they have to offer.

5) Make a good impression
Most colleges like it if you show an interest and are able to show that you’re serious about attending. Make a point of asking relevant and insightful questions, such as what’s involved in a particular named program at that college, rather than boring questions they’ve heard all day. Make a point of remembering the name of the person you speak to and ask for their business card. They will remember this, and may well end up interviewing you in the future. So dress well – smart casual is fine, but dirty smelly clothes will be remembered for the wrong reasons!

6) Bring your own business cards/stickers
If you come armed with business cards or stickers with your name and email address on, it will make everyone’s lives easier. You can just hand over a card or place a sticker on their contact list rather than spending ages waiting for your turn to write down your details. It will also make you look professional.

7) Follow up
After the event, follow up with the people you’ve spoken to. Email them and thank them for their time. Ask further questions. It will go a long way to showing that you’re a serious applicant.

8) Ask for advice!
We’re always happy to help and offer advice, so feel free to pop along to the UES stand to chat to us. We’re not affiliated to any university, so we won’t be biased.

Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy the day!
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