College visits are a great way for prospective students and their families to visit a college campus to learn more about it and determine if it is a good fit for their student. During a campus visit, tours are offered and students are able to see different locations on campus, such as the dining hall, student center, academic facilities, library, athletic facilities and dorms.
These visits can be crucial in helping a student and their family decide which schools are best for them. Things like campus size, activities offered, and even the climate should be taken into account when determining if a school is the right fit. Since you will be spending the next few years in this location, it would be helpful if the campus and the environment match your personality and interests. There are a few things that can be done to ensure that you get the most out of your campus visits.
1. Be prepared
Do your own research prior to visiting the campus. This includes checking out a map of the campus and surrounding areas so you’ll have a good idea of the places you’d like to visit while there. Getting a good idea of where things are located on campus and what is located near the campus will help give you a feel of what it will be like to attend that school. If you enjoy athletics, you may want to see the athletic facilities on campus, or if you plan to study biology, you may want to visit your potential future classrooms. Overall, make a plan of what exactly you want to see and do while there, so you can save time while getting a good idea of where you want to go on your visit.
2. Pack accordingly
Be sure to wear something comfortable. The last thing you want is to wear uncomfortable shoes or the wrong attire while touring a college campus for hours on end. If the climate is especially hot, it may be helpful to bring a water bottle and wear a t-shirt and shorts. If the weather is usually cool where you are visiting, be sure to bring a jacket or wear something that will keep you warm. An umbrella for rainy weather and a few snacks will also be beneficial to you.
3. Take Notes During Your Experience
If you have spare time during your visit, it is crucial to write down the things you noticed about the school. Was there anything that made you feel excited? Did you not care for the food in the dining hall? Did students on campus seem happy or stressed? It can be easy to forget these things once you get home, so jotting down notes in the moment will help you remember what you liked, didn’t like, or were indifferent to during your visit.
4. Venture Outside of Campus
While the campus visit may be your main focus, checking out the areas around the campus and in the city are also a great idea. You will potentially be attending this school for the next few years, so getting familiar with the people who live there and the environment you will be living in will allow you to see if this location is a good fit for you. Are there restaurants that you’ll enjoy? Beaches? Nightlife? Take into account the type of environment that you thrive in and if the location that the college is located in offers that to you.
5. Ask Questions
Don’t be shy in asking questions. These can be directed to your tour guide, an admissions counselor, or even a current student on campus. Getting different perspectives about the campus or surrounding cities can help you in deciding if this school matches your needs. Getting the opinion of a current student could possibly give you a first-hand look of what attending the school will be like, usually unbiased. If allowed, try scheduling a meeting with a professor in the area you want to study during office hours and ask questions about the courses. This will give you a glimpse of the rigor of the curriculum and what it will be like being a student at the school.
Overall, campus visits are a fun, interactive way to get to know a prospective school before officially attending. By being prepared and using the most of your time, you can maximize your visit, which will aid you in deciding if this school is a best fit for you.