When it comes to contacting your university, what is the best way? Should you call or email, or is it best to post on Facebook or send a tweet? Get my tips here.
Your university is on Facebook – are you?
Contact the university on social media if you have general questions like “how many students do you have”, “where is your campus”, “do you offer any scholarships”. You may get a reply more quickly than if you email, and you’d also be interacting with the university.
Though I wouldn’t recommend posting personal information or questions on social media, like about your grades or financial situation. Also, if you need more specific advice about your own situation, don’t ask for it on Facebook or Twitter.
Chat online with university staff
If your university offers ‘online chat’ or ‘live chat’, you’ll find this helpful. You can exchange messages back and forth with a member of staff (or often with a senior student) until you have the answer or information you need. But, not all universities have live chat, or they may only offer it during specific hours. Also, if your question is ‘complicated’, the person on the chat may have to take your details to get advice from another colleague or department, and then get back to you by email or phone.
Sometimes it’s just best to speak to a person
I’d recommend you call the university in any of these situations:
Things to do when you call
When making an international call, you don’t want it to be longer than necessary. Make sure you:
In the international spelling system you use code words instead of letters. This helps avoid misunderstanding, as especially on the phone some letters can be easily confused. For example, using the international spelling alphabet, I would spell my name like this:
Antoinette: Alpha – November – Tango – Oscar – India – November – Echo – Tango – Tango – Echo
LETTER – SPELLING CODE WORD (HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT. BOLD MEANS EMPHASIS)
A – Alpha (AHL FA)
B – Bravo (BRAH VOH)
C – Charlie (CHAH LEE)
D – Delta (DELL TAH)
E – Echo (ECK OH)
F – Foxtrott (FOKS TROT)
G – Golf (GOLF)
H – Hotel (HOH TELL)
I – India (IN DEE AH)
J – Juliette (JEW LEE ETT)
K – Kilo (KEE LOH)
L – Lima (LEE MAH)
M – Mike (MIKE)
N – November (NO VEM BER)
O – Oscar (OSS CAH)
P – Papa (PAH PAH)
Q – Quebec (KEH BECK)
R – Romeo (ROW ME OH)
S – Sierra (SEE AIR RAH)
T – Tango (TANG GO)
U – Uniform (YOU NEE FORM)
V – Victor (VIK TA)
W – Whiskey (WISS KEY)
X – X-ray (ECKS RAY)
Y – Yankee (YAN KEE)
Z – Zulu (ZOO LOO)
Sometimes it’s just best to email
There are a few situations where I’d recommend that you email the university, especially when:
Remember, if your request is urgent, send an email but also call the university so they can prioritise your email.
Things to do when you email
When you email the university, remember to do this:
There are a number of ways you can contact your university and in this post I’ve share with you the main ones – I’m sure there are others. I’d suggest you decide in each situation by asking yourself some simple questions. I’ve put in brackets the method I would use to get in touch with the university:
If you have any tips to add or personal experience to share, post your comments below or join me on Facebook.