Going places: Dal Open House marks beginning of journey for many

- October 24, 2019

Snapshots from Open House 2019 in Halifax. (Additional photography by Ernest Ng)
Snapshots from Open House 2019 in Halifax. (Additional photography by Ernest Ng)

The skies over Halifax were looking grey, but nothing could dampen the mood of the over 2,600 guests who came to Dal Open House in Halifax last Saturday (Oct. 19) to experience life at Dal and to explore the opportunities offered at the university.

For some, the Open House event was a chance to tour campus and get a feel for what it’s like to be in a university with several thousand students. Others got to find out during the event if they had gotten into Dal, with a number of students having applied for early admission to their undergraduate program of choice.

Dal’s status as a national and international university was evident as the Open House attracted prospective students, family members and friends from all over Canada. Katie and Annalisa travelled from Prince Edward Island to be at the Open House, and were impressed by the university and its campus.

“It’s certainly bigger than home and there are way more programs to choose from,” Katie said.

A plethora of things to do

A wide range of events were offered to attendees ranging from fairs to academic sessions — made possible by some of the hundreds of staff, faculty and student volunteers helping ou with Open House. From comparative politics to the Blue Planet program, these sessions gave the students a peek at what courses are offered within the wide range programs available at Dal.

Felicia and Ridhi from Halifax were two of the prospective students who benefited from these sessions. They weren’t too sure about what programs they wanted to enter but said the sessions were helpful. “The academic sessions helped us learn more about programs and really helped us narrow down our options”, Felicia said.

Fairs hosted during the day also helped open the eyes of prospective students to other programs they may not have considered, as well as some of the resources available to students and societies. The fairs emphasized the diversity of programs offered at Dal and how a degree at Dal doesn’t just have to be one straightforward program.

Cornelia Lorenz & Julia Poertner, respectively the academic advisor and the language program coordinator for the Department of German, were present at the academic fair . They were pleased to see many prospective students at the Open House.

“Many do not know German at all but are interested in taking it as a course so they can learn something new,” Poertner said. Lorenz added that “some of them, for example, are Engineering students but would like to minor in German,” a combination which she found interesting.

The voices of Dal

The university also held panels to give prospective students an extra step in understanding life at Dal. New to this year’s Open House was the Women in STEM panel, as well as the “Talking to the Tigers: Alumni & Current Students panel.”

The Open House is an opportunity for students to ask questions to the people here and get answers for these questions that you wouldn’t find online,” said Barrett Hooper, associate director of alumni engagement.

The panels offered great inspiration and advice to those who attended. At the Women in STEM panel, fourth-year Medical Sciences student Francisca Annan told the audience how her brother was an inspiration for her, “creating footsteps in the snow, ones you follow instead of making new ones yourself” and how she hoped that she would be able to create footsteps for others to follow too. Panellists at the Talking to the Tigers panel spoke to the audience about the importance of being a part of the community at Dal and the importance of making connections.

“Dal isn’t just a university with its concrete buildings; it’s about the people and the community here,” said Hooper. He hoped that students who attended the Open House would leave with their questions answered and being more comfortable with the idea of university, having had a glimpse at life at Dal.

The Open House fun continues this week in Truro, with the Agricultural Campus hosting the Truro Open House on Saturday, October 26. More details.


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