The title says it all: we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide of literally everything you need to know, see and do during Poly Open House 2017 to make the most out of your trips to each Poly Open House! As a start, here are 10 tips and tricks to take note of.
In case you didn’t already know, the Poly Open House is an annual affair where all five local polytechnics – Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic – open their doors to newly graduated secondary school students seeking the next step in their tertiary education. Over a span of three days, the institutes introduce their courses, CCAs, facilities, and school spirit etc. through guided tours, CCA showcases, and even guest performances, amongst other fringe activities. With the slew of ongoing activities at the different polys, and the short timeframe to cram everything in, you’ll definitely need a few pointers to help plan your itinerary wisely.
Before heading out, be sure to:
#1 Research on the courses you’re interested in
Don’t just aim for courses that spark your interest without reading up on it first. Check out the different topics the syllabus has to offer, the credit weightage for each module, as well as the career prospects available. There are over hundreds of options to choose from across the five polytechnics, so narrow down your choices to the ones that appeal most to you. With that list in mind, search for the relevant booths/schools at each Open House you visit – that should keep you from getting distracted.
#2 Seek a second (or third, or fourth) opinion
Whether you’ve decided on a course or not, speak to your parents and teachers before fully committing to it. They are the ones who’ve been with you throughout your growing up years and would know where your expertise lies. Sharing your goals with a trusted party will give you a better insight on what’s the best course of study, and they will be able to foresee any future pitfalls you may encounter. Alternatively, you could also approach a education and career guidance counsellor in your school – they will be able to offer practical insight to help you make your final decision.
#3 Map out your route
All five polys are scattered across the island, so find out the travel time required between schools and split up your visits into batches based on proximity. It will take you days to cover all five polytechnics, so plan your schedule accordingly and keep track of the duration spent in each school to efficiently to maximise your time. While you should keep your eyes on the prize (i.e. finding out about your course info), take some time to explore campus grounds and immerse yourself in booths and activities available; only then will you be able to truly experience each poly and what they have to offer.
Click here for a quick list of happenings across the polys!
While you’re there:
#4 Get there early
There’s going to be a lot of people and a lot of activities going on, so it’s best to head down early. Not only do you get to beat the crowd (and the heat), you will also be the first in line to get your hands on exclusive perks and free goodie bags!
#5 Don’t be fazed by the crowd
Upon stepping into the bustling campus grounds, you might feel overwhelmed by the whirlwind of events and swarm of unfamiliar faces. Don’t panic – remember that everyone there is around your age and you guys might even end up as schoolmates in the future, so go ahead and mingle! If you’re here without any friends or family members to accompany you, don’t be shy to approach a fellow student ambassador on site who will gladly greet you with open arms. You can usually find them along activity booths and where the guided campus tours are held.
#6 Ask a lot of questions
Come prepared with a list of questions you may have about the faculty. Don’t hesitate to clarify your doubts and ask for feedback from the seniors present. How was their experience as a first-year student? How are the orientation camps here conducted? What do they find the most challenging about their course? Remember to speak with the academic staff or a course counsellor to get a professional point of view as well. Polytechnic life is a completely different ball game compared to secondary school, so it’s important to know what you are in for as a prospective student.
#7 Save every piece of info you get
You may feel tempted to throw out that stash of brochures you’ve gathered, but trust us: these handouts will certainly come in handy when it comes to finalising your top 12 choices. Locate a quiet corner after settling down and take a good look at all the information listed, which will give you a complete summary of what you can expect from each course. Having all the pros and cons laid out will help you to weed out and prioritise your options.
#8 Register for seminars/workshops
Attend the various seminars and workshops that will be taking place, where you can find out more about the different curriculums, scholarship opportunities, admission requirements and other academic queries in detail. There are also dedicated forums for parents to participate, which gives an overview of what pursuing a tertiary education is all about and also allows them to pick up tips on how they can guide their child into making informed decisions. Spots might be limited, so make sure to register for the talks you have in mind on their respective websites ahead of time!
#9 Explore the campuses
Aside from seminars and workshops, go on the guided campus tours where you get to check out the academic buildings, student amenities and specialised equipment provided for your preferred courses. Having a conducive environment ensures that students get ample hands-on experience in and out of the classroom, which is why it’s important to ensure that the facilities are readily accessible and in good working order. While you’re at it, explore the study areas, food courts and recreational offerings too as these are the places you will be spending most of your time at in between classes. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to visit the Teenage booth for awesome goodie bags!
#10 Check out the CCAs available
Don’t forget the CCAs showcases! Take your pick from the endless array of extra-curricular activities available – from academic school clubs, to special interest groups, to sports and adventure teams, there’s sure to be one that tickles your fancy. To really step out of your comfort zone, why not challenge yourself by joining something you’ve not tried before? Not only is it a great platform for you to pick up new hobbies and develop it into a passion, CCAs can also help to beef up your resume and help it stand out from the sea of university/job applications in the future. Win-win!
Our Ultimate Guide ain’t over yet! Check out our Open House 2017 activities listings at each poly here. What are some of your tips and tricks to navigating the Poly Open Houses? Comment below and share your insight. Last but not least, read all about Poly education and more in our January 2017 Passport To Your Future!