If you are looking for graduate education, you must have spent hours researching different universities, comparing programs, following ranks, talking to ex-students, etc. But for a lot of people, the final decision about attending any college or university comes after getting a feel of the campus. And the best way to get to do that is by taking a university campus tour.
A campus tour offers prospective students a chance to look through the carefully curated images of the college on social media and marketing brochures. They get to explore the college and make sure it is a good fit for them.
Tips that can help you make the most of your university campus tour.
1. Start planning early
As the students get closer to their final year of school, their schedules tighten up. And at this time, most of them also have to make visits to their chosen colleges to finalize their decision about higher studies. This can cause a lot of stress among students and their families.
To ease this stress, it is best to plan your university campus tour ahead of time. It is best to undertake physical visits to the college during the spring break. Early fall or later summer during the senior year are also good times. At this time, the classes may be on so the prospective students can also catch a glimpse of campus life.
2. Know what to expect from a physical college visit
Because of the ongoing Covod-19 pandemic, there may be a few limitations on the campus visit. For instance, the size of a university campus tour may be limited and certain areas such as residence halls may be off-limits.
But while taking the tour, make sure you ask all the queries that you have in mind. There may be a tour guide to help you through the tour. So, you can address all your queries to him and extract all the necessary information.
3. Layout a budget for college tours
Trying to visit all the shortlisted colleges can be time-consuming as well as expensive. This is especially true if most of the colleges are located overseas. Thus, it is advisable to have a specific budget in mind.
It makes sense to not spend a lot of money visiting different campuses. You must shortlist 2-3 colleges and visit them in person instead of touring all the colleges on your list.
4. Explore many virtual tour options
When it comes to a university campus tour, opting for a virtual visit is also a great option. Nowadays, most colleges and universities offer virtual reality campus tours that enable prospective students to explore the place from the comfort of their own homes. This is an excellent option for students to make up their minds while sparing them lots of money that would otherwise be spent on traveling.
Students can easily take self-guided virtual tours and explore the campus and its facilities. They can check out different areas such as classrooms, laboratories, cafeteria, outdoor area, campus surroundings, etc. This way they can shorten their list of preferred colleges and finalize a few for an in-person visit.
5. Consider drive-thru visits
A few colleges and universities have also introduced drive-thru campus tours for students. This is a great way to adhere to the social distancing guidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The students are seated in a pilot car that drives through the different areas of the college, such as residence halls, outdoor blocks, etc. They also hear a narration on their phones as they pass through the different campus areas.
6. Explore academic departments
To make the most of the university campus tour, you must carefully explore all academic departments. And the best way to do that is by sitting in on an ongoing class and meeting with the college professors.
Sometimes, students feel that they might bother the college faculty, and thus, they don’t meet them personally. However, having a one-to-one meeting with the faculty members can give you an excellent idea of the college. If the university campus tour does not allow you to meet the faculty, ask the admissions office about the other options that you have.
7. Inquire about campus safety
College students have to spend a lot of time on campus. As such, ensuring the complete safety of the campus is a must. So while exploring the college, you must ask the tour guide about the campus safety guidelines in place. Even on a virtual campus tour, you must ask the virtual tour guide for more information on the same.
Typically, colleges are mandated by law to release any information related to crime on the campus. You can even check the annual records to make sure that the campus you choose is completely safe. This information will come in handy in the long run.
These are some simple tips that you must keep in mind while taking a university campus tour. You can even opt for a virtual tour in case of any time or financial constraints.