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  • Debra M. Shively

US College Campus Tours

Touring US college campuses provides students an intangible insight into the campuses in which they are visiting. Students will learn about the campus in a way which cannot be conveyed on a website or in print material, but rather the feel of the campus. Internationally Educated appreciates visiting US colleges and universities can be a significant undertaking of time and money; however, campus tours will provide an opportunity to explore different campus offerings in search of your best fit institution.

Campus tours should be organised through the office of admissions. Things to consider when taking a campus tour are the feel of the campus – do you see yourself fitting in with the respective student body? What type of students make up the student population? Are they sports minded, science minded, arts minded, what is the global perspective of the students who attend? Will you be one of only a few international students on campus? Is the setting rural, urban or cosmopolitan? Consider the weather – you may find it appealing to study in a region which snows, however, consider the conditions of getting to class and if your curiosity and intrigue will wear off after the first snowstorm.

Remember, your university successes will be measured on what you do, not where you do it – look beyond the name of an institution and ensure it is a fit for you as this will provide the required platform for you to accomplish these great things.

When to go: We suggest campus visits in year 9, 10, 11 or early in year 12, however if your only opportunity to visit is after you complete year 12, this is fine too. An early visit in years 9, 10 or 11 may assist in determining if you choose to apply to the respective institution(s) while a later visit (after completing year 12) to those institutions in which you have been accepted can assist in determining which institution to attend.

Some tips in making the most of your campus Tours:

  • Prepare for your visit and familiarise yourself with institutional information. This includes admission guidelines, class size, areas of study, four and five year graduation rates, academic advising and support, etc.

  • If available, meet with admission staff and the financial aid department, and if appropriate, the coaching staff if you’re interested in playing an intercollegiate sport.

  • Ask the admission staff to put you in touch with a current student. This will allow you to ask your peers questions. (This is a very common practice for admission staff).

  • Attend a class; meet with a professor.

  • Make a list of your own questions you would like answered by the end of your visit. These may include academic questions or student life questions. Some to consider include: querying if the classes are taught by professors or teachers assistants (TAs), query what students do on weekends, what sets this institution apart from the other institutions?

  • If you’re looking to play sports at the institution, do not base your decision on the coach but rather on the athletic and academic program. Coaches move around and they have no allegiance to stay for your four years just because they ‘recruited’ you.

  • Bring a notebook and document your visit with pictures. After each visit reflect on your thoughts on campus - what were the high points, what did you like least about the campus, what was the feel of the student body, what academic resources and support were available, what were the dorms like? Documenting your thoughts will be extremely beneficial as once you visit a few campuses, details tend to blend together.

A visit to the US to conduct campus tours can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the number of institutions in which you are visiting and their proximity to one another. Respective campus tours usually last at least one hour not including time spent meeting with university staff. Internationally Educated is able to customise a campus tour itinerary to include your nominated US institutions including scheduled campus visits and organising meetings with admission staff. If you have additional campus tour questions or if you would like to set up a group or individual US college campus tours, we can assist. Please contact us today.

Barnard College

University of Redlands

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