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College Campus Visit Guide
Sometimes it can be really tough to choose a college when you have plenty of options in front of you. In these circumstances, a campus tour can be really helpful to determine the ideal institution. Through these dedicated trips, every prospective student gets the chance to identify and perceive the distinct attributes of an institution. It helps them to sense whether the college is the right choice for them or not.
What is a campus tour?
A campus tour or a campus visit is a very common term in the academic world, especially among the students of western countries. A campus tour is a visit to the college or university campus by all the prospective students either alone or with their family. In the tour of around 2-3 hours organized by the institution itself, the prospective students learn about the history, culture, student life and the courses offered by the college. These are generally walking tours and usually free of charges.
A group of around 20 to 30 visitors are accompanied by admission staff or some students of the union. These campus tours begin with an information session and then a systematic tour of the whole campus including the residential buildings, lecture halls and laboratory and other facilities of the college.
Purpose and Advantages of campus tour
The main objective of the college in organizing the campus tour is to encourage all the prospective students to take admission in their college. It is a way to promote the college and develop a worthy recognition in the academic world. From the students’ point of view, it gives them the chance to evaluate all the aspects and the facilities that the institution provides to the students. It is widely regarded as one of the best procedures to learn whether the college will meet the requirements and the need of aspiring students.
All the students wish to study in the best institution which can give provide them the maximum opportunities to learn, develop and get a promising career in future. So they are allowed to ask different questions to the guide and resolve all their queries. The comprehensive campus visit gives them the chance to know and decide their future course of action.
Planning the campus visit
All the prospective students need to explore and collect as much information as they can within the short period of time. The duration of the campus tour varies from college to college but it never exceeds more than two to three hours. Within this short span of time, the students are required to collect essential information rather than admiring the beauty of the campus. But what should be their strategy?
It is definitely a great idea to visit each of the campuses and then reach to a final decision. If you are planning your campus visit very soon, then you might need to do some constructive planning way ahead before the actual visit. Chalk out the question that you need to ask the admission staff accompanying you and also how and what you plan to talk to as many people and students as you can throughout the campus visit, right from college staff to the current students. In certain situations, it may so happen that you might have to stay overnight in the college dormitory. Formulate the plans accordingly so that you are prepared for every circumstance.
Campus Tour Checklist
Campus visits have become increasingly important these days. Whether a college is the right choice can only be determined by asking questions and accumulating information.
How to gather information?
The campus tour begins with an information session from the admission office. The whole group attends this session where they are provided with general brochures, information and data about the college. This information session happens in the admission office. Read the brochures and other reports thoroughly as they contain basic information about the college.
Talking to the admission officer
Wake Forest junior Kelly Rumbaugh (’12), a double major in computer science and mathematics, talks with computer science professor Jennifer Burg, left, in Burg’s office in Manchester Hall on Thursday, September 2, 2010. The two were discussing Rumbaugh’s computer-generated music project.[/caption]
An admission officer constantly guides the group of students while they are on the campus tour. This admission officer is the right person to ask everything which comes into your mind. They are competent to answer every query that the prospective students ask them about the college and its facilities.
Getting the financial aid forms
Most of the colleges and universities receive their financial assistance from the federal or the union government. This financial assistance gets directed to the students who are eligible for the financial benefit. So it is important to procure the correct financial aid and know the financial benefits that it provides to the students.
Talking to the faculty
All the students wish to pursue their graduation on definite subjects. The college should have a competent team of professors in their subject of interest. If you get the chance, meet the subject professors and talk to them about the opportunities and prospect that you would get after taking the respective discipline. Taking to the faculty helps you to get substantial knowledge about the curriculum and the strengths of the department.
Sitting in the class
Sometimes the campus tours include a short program of sitting in any of classes to get the sense of learning in the environment of the institution. All the students should sit in such theoretical classes which interests them. If the tour does not include the classroom program, you can definitely see how the classes function in this respective college. If allowed inside the class, note down what you like about it and what you don’t.
Talking to the students
Some people claim that only a student can understand the problems of another student. If this proverb holds truth then the present students of the institution will be the ideal source who can provide the best suggestions to their prospective juniors. They can definitely reveal certain information which you will not be able to accumulate from the admission officers. Ask them about the classes and the professors, their reaction is very important for your decision.
Get the contacts
Definitely, it is never an easy task to get all the information in that limited period of time. It is a good idea to take the business cards of all the people that you meet during the campus visit. When you have the name and the phone numbers of these people, you can contact them later for any query. You can also keep in contact with them to know the recent developments on admission.
How to explore the campus?
Visiting the college in person always gives the students a true feeling and essence. It is important to know the campus where you are going to spend the next four years of life. But how should you explore the vast campus so that you don’t leave out any important place?
When you take a campus tour, you will be a part of a team and accompanied by an admission staff or senior student of the respective college. The whole tour is pre-planned where you will be allowed to attend and visit some distinct places of the whole campus. However, you always need to find the most within the limited scope available for you.
Within this limited scope, it is important to explore:
- The freshmen dormitories and the facilities available in it. If possible try to stay overnight in the dormitory to experience it yourself.
- The dining halls, gym, career center and library. Evaluate if it justifies your requirements as you need them the most in the coming years.
- The life of the students inside the campus. Do not pay attention to the resources available for studies only, but also provide significant emphasis of the recreational facilities.
- Talk to the coaches or the admission staff about the sports facilities available in college. Ask them about the sporting disciplines which interest you.
- Every college has a canteen of their own. Within the tour you should visit the canteen at least once. Make sure that it follows the rules of hygiene and provide quality food to the students.
The whole campus tour is conducted by the institution authority where the prospective students walk around the campus and around the community which surrounds the campus. You are advised to keep a note of all the information that you gather while you are in the conducted campus visit.
Visit the campus media
In the days of technological advancement, various avenues are available in front of the students to know and accumulate information. The campus media is one such method through which you can know the recent developments on the campus and what the students are thinking. While you are within the campus, you can:
- Listen to the college or university radio station
- If the institution has a newspaper or a magazine of its own, read it
- The students may have their own publications or newspapers; they can also prove beneficial
- The notice and the bulletin boards can provide information about the daily student life
- You can also visit the college website and browse through the campus blogs sections to know more.
Some of the institutions also have their own career centers where you can go and learn about the services it provides. Overall, this whole new medium of campus media will help you to know more about the prospective institution where you wish to spend the next four years of your life.
Important questions to be asked
After you have visited the college, it is the time to take the final decision. This is a list of probable questions which you need to ask yourself before you arrive at a verdict.
- What are the best possible reasons to go to this college?
- Is it fully equipped with all the facilities required to pursue learning?
- What the current students do in the weekend or free time?
- Are the present students satisfied with the college facilities?
- Are the dormitories for the students of satisfactory quality?
- What is the scope of job opportunities?
- Is the staff of the college accommodating and helpful?
- Does the college provide adequate research opportunities in future?
- How the college performs in the annual rankings published by eminent publications?
- Does the college have a good environment, ambience and surroundings required for studying?
This small but effective checklist determines whether the concerned institution is the best option for you or not. If you get positive responses for all the questions, then definitely you should settle for this particular institution.
Some effective tips for the campus tour
These days, the students are very serious about their tertiary level studies. They always want to look into every aspect of the prospective college with an inquisitive mind before they finalize any of their decisions. The students are always advised to choose such institutions which matches their personality and interests. While you are in a quest to determine the best college for you, here are some tips which can help you.
- Before going for the campus visit, do a comparative study at your home about the college. It will help you to come prepared the next day and focus on the essential aspects. Choose such days for a campus visit when you will be able to gather the most information.
- It is important to document the whole session by taking relevant notes and photographs. These days, it is not very hard to take photos in the age of smart phones. Taking photographs will help to remember and judge the institution.
- Though you will always be guided by the college staff or their students, still manage some time to explore on your own. Walk an extra mile to get the complete picture about the campus. Within this solitary walk, talk to as many students as you can.
- Find some time and visit the college canteen or cafeteria. Besides tasting the food you can also talk to the students over there who tend to be more open in this place. Build your acquaintances and take their phone numbers so that you can contact them in future and in need.
- Last but not the least you should not be too judgmental. Do not completely reject any institution if the served food was not up to the mark. Sometimes the institutions which you reject could be the ideal choice for you. Hence, take your decision wisely.
The campus tour or campus visit is one of the most effective and proven tool to find out the best institution. It always magnifies the chances to increase the likelihood of the students and enroll themselves in the college. This comprehensive guide will help you to take the decision when you gear up to visit the campus of your prospective college.
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