Campus visits play a huge part in finding a school that’s just right for you. Setting foot on a college campus and experiencing the environment firsthand can help high school students make the right decision.
But campus visits go beyond just testing the atmosphere– it’s also planning for your future. So here’s how to make the most out of your campus visits; to help you find the best school.
Identify your standards for a college.
Practical factors must be considered when choosing a college. But since the school you choose will become your home for the next few years, asking yourself what things you want in college life is just as important. Are you after good career services? Fun events? A convenient location? Suitable housing and accommodations?
Consider keeping a physical or a mental checklist of the things that matter most in college. Having your criteria should help you narrow down your choices faster with every campus visit you make.
Take time to research the schools you plan to visit.
Knowing your prospective schools is an excellent way to set them apart. Skim through the schools’ websites and note their best features, facilities, and programs that, if you prefer, should let you study at your own pace.
Reach out to the school and to students who were or are currently studying in the school to ask them about their campus experience, as well as for pieces of advice. You also talk to recent alums of the schools. They often have the best stories, insights, and advice to give, those that especially hit close to home.
Join information sessions.
Schools typically have information sessions held especially for incoming students. Attending information sessions in your prospective schools will help you better grasp and compare what campus life is like in different universities and allow you to ask your questions about the school.
Consider virtual campus tours.
Virtual campus tours are an excellent way to learn about different schools without leaving your house. Many schools offer virtual campus tours for prospective students as a time- and money-saving alternative, especially for those who live far from the campus.
Granted that virtual tours are limited to what you can see through your device, they won’t be as immersive as in-person campus tours, but they should help you cover more schools in a shorter time and decide which campuses you want to see in person.
Dress to impress– but comfortably.
Dress comfortably in preparation for exploring campus grounds, and dress decently to increase your chances of getting accepted. Remember that schools have dress codes, so sift through your wardrobe and ensure you show up dressed formally while being comfortable.
You’ll be meeting new people and school faculty for the first time, and first impressions will matter, and so will your comfort! Don’t sacrifice it because you’ll be walking around quite a lot, and you wouldn’t want your outfit to take away from your experience.
Talk to people!
It’s the people that make up every university’s community and environment. And what better way is there to immerse yourself in it than to interact with people in the school?
Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to people you encounter; don’t be afraid to ask your tour guide questions. Your curiosity as a prospective student will be appreciated, and you might make some friends along the way.
Do as much as you can. See as much as you can.
Arrange to sit in on classes, watch ongoing school events, check out the residence halls, or maybe even consider staying overnight in one of the dorms if you can to evaluate accessibility accommodations. In short, take a deeper look through the current students–how your student life could turn out to be in the school you are visiting!
Pushing to see and do as much as possible within the day of your visit is good practice. This way, you’ll get an idea of what being enrolled in this school will be like.
And lastly: Visit again!
You likely won’t be able to dig deeper, get past first impressions, get in on hidden and unexpected facts, and learn otherwise valuable things about a school if you only visit a campus once. So don’t just visit once. Chances are, your campus tour is arranged for daily tours, so take time to revisit a campus if you can!