Now’s the time to explore your future: it’s education fair season! Here are just a few of the many reasons you should attend…
The new semester is upon us and the leaves are changing colours. This means only one thing: it’s education fair season!
Education fairs are a great resource if you’re in high school, looking ahead to post-secondary — or even if you’re already in school, thinking about what could be next for you.
Fairs are usually free to attend for students, so there’s nothing but positives to taking part! Still need some convincing? Check out some of the top reasons you should attend an education fair.
(By the way, if you’re looking for an upcoming education fair to explore, consider the Study and Go Abroad fairs, running from September 22 through 29 in five cities across Canada: Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Calgary.)
1. Get the info you need
This is the most basic reason, and probably the main driver of students attending education fairs. You can’t make a good decision about your education without good info! Whether you’re an athlete, artist, scientist, or all of the above, you’ll learn about the unique offerings of each school at their booth.
You’ll meet school representatives who can share their knowledge and experiences with you directly. Many school reps are alumni themselves, meaning they can tell you what campus life is really like. And reps are up-to-date on program offerings — you might learn about a program you’d never have known existed!
School reps will also know all about residence and campus life, and have insight into off-campus housing options. Having a sense of the vibe can be invaluable, especially if you can’t visit campus before you apply.
If you’re considering studying abroad, you’ll also be able to get info on restrictions and eligibility criteria, visa requirements, permit timelines, and more. Doesn’t sound like much fun, but it’s all stuff you need to know!
Finally — and this is the big one — you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know about scholarships, bursaries, and grants for students. You can share some info about yourself, and get a sense of what financial support might be available to you. Sometimes the difference between attending school X or Y is the amount of financial aid you can expect to receive, so it’s a good question to ask!
2. Build connections and relationships
Education fairs aren’t exactly singles mixers, but you can still meet new, interesting people at these events, and maybe even make a new friend.
In many cases, school booths will be staffed with former or current students, who will be eager to tell you about their experiences. You may even be invited to chat further via email or social media, should you have questions later on.
You’ll also run into other students considering the same schools you are. Don’t be shy — strike up a conversation, if you feel comfortable! Exchange notes and impressions: maybe your new friend has noticed something you haven’t, or perhaps you’ve got a great question they’d never considered. Be sure to connect on social — there’s nothing better than having a new friend even before your adventure begins!
You can develop connections with recruiters, too. Recruiters will have the latest info on their schools, and may be able to help you down the line should you have questions or need advice. Snag the business card of a friendly rep, or follow them on social, so you’ll always be able to reach out.
3. Win great prizes
Most education fairs will be jam-packed with swag of all sorts for you to feast on! Lots of schools will offer goods like water bottles, keychains, USB flash drives, and more, alongside a package of literature for you to review. The print is usually glossy brochures, showing off glamour shots of campus, filled with smiling students. The swag is usually branded with the school’s name and logo.
That’s not all, though! Many booths will have contests of their own, for prizes great and small. Usually all you need to do is fill out your name and email to be entered into a draw. If you’re lucky, this might include a scholarship!
Education fairs themselves typically offer prizes, too. For example, Study and Go Abroad is offering a grand prize this year: a free roundtrip flight anywhere in the world, courtesy of Air Canada. Study and Go Abroad is also running a refer a friend contest, with its own array of prizes! In the past, CCUF events have offered a cash award to the most engaged attendee. Keep your eyes on the prize — you never know what you might find!
So whether you’re primarily interested in gathering intel, meeting people, or winning prizes, there are lots of reasons to attend an education fair this fall.
You’ll be able to explore your options, attend seminars to learn about the most exciting, dynamic schools and programs, and market yourself as the perfect student to recruit! (You may also have a chance to explore the city that’s hosting the fair, if it’s unfamiliar to you.)
Give an education fair a try, if you’ve never been — you just might like it. (Want a little more advice? Check out this piece on questions to ask at education fairs — you’ll find plenty of good topics to raise when you visit booths and meet people.)