Top Ten Tips: A Student’s Guide to Surviving Study Visits

Study visits can be a really exciting part of a library course, but they can also be hard work.  Here’s ten tips to help you get the most out of your study visits.

    1. Be prepared. Work out what needs doing at home while you’re away, especially if you have family to care for. Your study visits might involve being away from home for days or even if you’re local there could be some really long hours. Make sure you have reliable care for any kids you might have, make sure the pets will get fed while you’re away. Plan well to make sure they are taken care of in advance.  Also, know what the procedure is at your institution if something goes wrong and you can’t make it on the day.
    2. Plan your outfits. Comfy shoes are a must as you’ll do a lot of walking. Personally, between the four days of study visits, including getting to and from the city and my after hours commitments I clocked up 57,000 steps! The same goes for your outfits. Check the weather in the lead up, especially if you’ll be in a different city to where you live.
    3. Take notes. You’ll likely need to write some sort of report after the study visits, so take lots of notes to help you remember who said what at each library.  
    4. Take photos. Photos are also a great way to jog your memory later about what you’ve seen. Make sure you get permission first and be cautious about posting on social media. Some of our sites allowed us to take photos on the provision that they did not go on social media. Any photos you take should not have any library patrons or fellow students in them. IMG_2924
    5. Do your research. If, like me, you have to write a researched essay, incorporating what you saw on study visits, do your research before the visits if you can.  It will give you things to look out for, maybe prompt some questions to ask your hosts and help your essay in the end.
    6. Check out transport. Check out your public transport options ahead of time or use the discussion forums or Facebook groups to meet up with a travel buddy if you’re anxious about getting to the right places.  Know when the public transport options are good or when you might be better off bringing the car or booking an Uber.  Remember you can use travel time to chill – read a book, listen to a podcast, or write some reflections about your experience.  
    7. Take time off. If you can afford a little more time off work, give yourself an extra day to recover from the visits. A study visit can involve long days in an unfamiliar city with lots of information to absorb – it’s tiring.
    8. Enjoy the experience – Plan to have some fun while you’re on study visits. Organise to meet fellow students for meals, or look at exhibitions at the venues or in nearby locations. Most study visits will have an attached Students and New Grads group event – join us for a chat!58080820435__515414AE-B0BC-48AE-B55D-4AC2F8F0332D 2
    9. Expect the unexpected. Serendipity is important for library users but it’s important for us as well. Be ready to embrace opportunities. Be willing to meet new people and chat to people you don’t know. 
    10. Know thyself. Know what you need to help you get through the week. Are you someone who needs regular fresh air and sunshine? Try to have your lunch in a park or an outdoor cafe. Like to process what you see by chatting? Organise to debrief afterwards at the pub or on transport between venues with other students. Need time alone? Stick your headphones on and scurry off after a visit to get some alone time. Know what you need and make firm plans to get what you need.

 

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