Arriving at the open day was complicated and tiring. After a 2 hour car ride we had to queue to get into the ‘car park’. (‘car park’ being a dusty old field). The queue of cars took us about 30 minutes. Then we parked up and had to get into an another queue, this time a queue of people which took 40 minutes. This was all for the park and ride service the university was offering, as they didn’t want visitors parking in their car park as there would not have been enough room. Oddly we managed to park next to one of my friends from school, which was crazy considering we had know idea she was coming and we had driven 2 hours away from home and yet in a car park full of about 2000 cars we managed to park next to each other, truly amazing.
The queue didn’t seem so bad as we had someone to chat with and there were plenty of buses. The bus ride its self was not great, I ended up sitting on what I think was an heating vent. Even though it was a hot day June it appeared the heating was jammed on. Not only that we had to sit at the top and the windows had to be kept open due to the heat. However when we drove through the narrow roads with low hanging branches, tree debris and leaves fell on us!
On arrival we had our bar code scanned and an open day booklet given to us. We said goodbye to my friend from school and headed towards the Student Union. We bought a plain standard coffee and sat inside the main part of the student union. There were bright coloured chairs, that looked like something you would find in a nursery play room! The overall appearance of the Student Union did not look too bad though, it did have a modern clean feel. In the student union they had a hair dressers, cafe, bank, bread shop, pool tables, arcade games, bar and what looked to be a music room.
We then decided to walk around campus and found our self in the sports centre. We didn’t have a proper look around, mainly because I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘sporty’ person. I saw the main sports hall, which looked pretty standard with 4 badminton courts. There was also an indoor climbing wall, which I wasn’t too impressed with it was more of an indoor climbing cave, rather than wall.
I decided to have a quick browse of the chemistry department, we walked in saw the stands and then walked out again. We didn’t stop and speak to anyone, there did seem to be more going on, but I was conscious that I hadn’t booked or anything. Not only that I am not really interested in studying chemistry anyway. Afterwards we went to the library which was a little disappointing, there didn’t seem to be many books! Instead everything was computerised and the so called 1.2 million books were actually ebooks. There just seemed to be endless amounts of computers and plenty of study space.
We then headed towards an accommodation that was en-suite, we once again queued at the entrance. The kitchen was nice and stylish, there was a large table for people to eat around. With two cookers (8 hobs) which would be shared for about 8-12 people. The room seemed fairly average and typical of a common uni room. The en-suite did have a bath tub though, instead of just a shower.
Giving our self plenty of time we decided to leave the main campus and head to a side campus known as Gibbet Hill campus, where they teach medicine and life sciences. This was really what I was interested in and came for. The campus was about a 15 minute walk away from the main campus, but the walk there was breathtaking (in a good way). The pathway took us through a beautiful woodland area, where there were lots of trees and wild plants. We walked across a scenic little bridge across a stream. It felt so refreshing like a break from the busy campus life style a spectacular little walk in nature. In the Summer month of June the sun was beaming through the green leaves and the area felt full of life. I could picture the gorgeous blue bells that would appear there in the spring and a glittering blanket of frost in the winter. I loved how the life sciences campus was separate from the main campus, it somehow made you feel important and special. It was lovely to know only scientists and doctors would walk down the path and that you were valued and treated differently from everyone else.
As we entered the life science campus we were greeted and given a plastic wallet full of information. It was truly incredible the plastic wallet was sturdy and strong in an aqua blue colour, the wallet is practical and can be reused. Inside was a nice notepad of paper with “Warwick life sciences” printed at the bottom accompanied by a free working pen! But best of all there was a £5 gift voucher to be spent in any university run cafe! Wow, we were truly valued by the university. We had a lovely tour of the science labs where we spoke to one of 12 lab technicians. It was also reassuring to find out the first 2 practicals did not count, so we could get a feel for what a proper practical was like before being assessed. We then went into a room known as the ‘Orchard’ as it had 120 APPLE IMAC COMPUTERS! Yes, one hundred and twenty! I was amazed about how much value was in one room. We then went to a mini-library place known as a ‘biogrid’ to be fair it was a bit rubbish, there were only 3/4 book shelves and a tiny group study area. The group study looked as if it would be noisy and rowdy.
After the tour we attended a talk on life sciences, which was a 45 minute talk covering all the life science subjects. This included biomedical, biological sciences and biochemistry along with something else called “Global sustainability” or something similar. For me the talk confirmed that biological science was not for me, but I could do either biomedical or biochemistry. It was also reassuring to see that 80% of those who graduated were doing something useful, whether it was working within the field or further study. The other 20% went into different fields such as banking etc. We then headed down to the onsite cafe and had sandwiches, crisps, cake and tea.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the demonstrations as such because I didn’t know where they were. We saw the poster display, but there didn’t look to be anyone demonstrating anything. I didn’t want to ask “Where is the demonstration?” just in case they replied “this is it!” and then I would have to awkwardly do the “ohhh”
We then headed back to main campus and looked around some more accommodation we went into another en suite place which was very similar to the first except the kitchen was a touch smaller and the desk in the bedroom a little smaller. We then viewed the cheapest accommodation open which was a shared bathroom. The room itself didn’t look too bad, in fact the room was bigger than the en-suite rooms. I did like how the toilet was separate to the shower. The kitchen didn’t look much different to that of the other places except just a touch smaller. I think the biggest difference was the fact that 19 people could be in that one kitchen, compared to the max of 12 elsewhere. I know they say people have different schedules and stuff, but with 19 people and only 4 toilets and 8 hobs. There must be times where you have to wait.
Overall I liked the layout of the campus it was like a mini town. However for me there was too many cafes, bars and restaurants. To me everywhere you went there was a cafe in some places 3 or four cafes in one building. It makes you wonder if the students actually cook, I do think I could potentially get bored there after a while. Especially since there felt like there was no life outside the campus, it wasn’t next to a big city or anything! The student ambassadors were friendly and the were visitors friendly too. Overall I enjoyed my day there, even though getting there was a nightmare!