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What you should expect from open days at tertiary institutions

Every year, tertiary institutions host open days as an opportunity for prospective students and parents to visit their campuses and get more information about the educational offer.

There is a lot of choice out there but here are some key pointers that should be covered at any open day you might attend:

Get a feel for the campus and its surroundings. Take a guided tour of the different venues and facilities to see the spaces and atmosphere in which you will be spending the next three to four years of your life. You should also be able to meet lecturing staff, current students and maybe even alumni to get to know the people behind the institution and the sense of the community you are signing up for. Watch and partake in live demonstrations in various venues and facilities around the campus. You should get a practical idea of what you will study and how within the curriculum.

Melissa Evans, Head of Film School at AFDA PE campus explains, "At AFDA, prospective students can expect a walk-through of the campus facilities, equipment demonstrations, and a number of information stations where they will be able to gather information on all of the disciplines and areas of study that are offered. We aim to provide prospective students a detailed understanding of how the AFDA system works through the outcomes-based curriculum and how it parallels the entertainment and media industry environments. In order to generate an accurate representation of the AFDA experience, the open day will be an engaging, informative, dialogical, hands-on experience for all in attendance."

It's not exclusively about the fun tick boxes because there are important admin checks you should investigate too. Find out about their fee structures and funding options, what courses cost and student loans, funding or bursary options available. Meet and be guided by the admissions team. They should be available to help you apply directly, understand the entry requirements and answer any questions you have about the steps to take from after you apply up until the time you enrol and start classes. You should also be able to take advantage of a one-on-one consultation with a staff member who can take you through more detail of any aspects of curriculum, admission process, requirements etc. These could be general or personal - nothing quite beats knowing who to deal with at the institution once you have applied.

"One-on-one consultations are an important part of how we support new applicants," says AFDA's National Recruitment Officer, Pamela Sehunoe. "This is how we can ensure a prospective student is well informed about everything they need to know for a full but clear picture of what AFDA is about and what further steps they need to take in the admission process. This meeting can address our curriculum pedagogy in depth, go over the different study area choices and specialisation process each year. If you applied prior to the consultation, your acceptance letter could be issued to you by hand. We would explain all the details following acceptance, which involves registration, enrolment, meeting entry requirements (proof and documents required at enrolment) and the timing of all the above. We are also open to more personal questions as well as the discussion of career opportunities in the creative economy."

The key for an open day is to obtain as much further information as possible, and to fill in the gaps of all you need to know and are curious about. Such as student accommodation, the safety of the campus and surrounds, what career options you could follow, if there are internship and work experience available during and after studies. Don't forget to collect a prospectus, if you don't have one from a careers day at your school then pick one up on your arrival at open day. This will give you some reading material about the courses to help you understand more about the qualifications that you can take home with you.

2019 Open days at AFDA are happening on 18 May, 17 August and 12 October, from 10am-2pm on all campuses in South Africa: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

AFDA's press office

AFDA is a registered private higher education institution offering accredited degree and higher certificate programmes for the creative economy. AFDA is also a member of CILECT, an international association for over 180 top film and television institutions worldwide.