Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Doing the College Search Process Remotely

By Maxine Adekoya
Assistant Director of Undergraduate International Admissions and Recruitment, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia

Over the years, I have had innumerable prospective international students voice their concerns about their inability to visit campus during the college search process. Reasons why some international students may find a visit to their schools of choice difficult can range from the cost of a flight to a simple case of conflicting semester schedules. 

Whatever the case, international students should not let these challenges dissuade them from pursuing their dreams of studying in the United States! The truth is that now more than ever, international students are at a greater advantage when it comes to researching and getting to know universities across the globe. While there is nothing quite like touring a campus, sitting in on lecture as a prospective student, or watching current students hurry across campus to their next class, there are several ways prospective students can get to know their potential university without visiting in person.

The Internet is Your Friend

Want to know more about a university such as its rankings, reputation, size, programs and more? The best way to begin is through the internet. Internet searches can provide you with a wealth of information about your school. Go directly to the schools’ website first, as this is a great place to start. You can also visit other sites that provide unbiased information about your potential school. One good site to get you started is College Board.

Social Media-Bringing Us Together One Hashtag at a Time

Many schools have a Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account. Don’t be afraid to follow prospective schools through social media. This can give you interesting information about the latest happenings on campus. Current students, alumni and even prospective students like you often follow schools on social media. At Saint Joseph’s University, the Office of Undergraduate Admission is actively involved in sharing information about the locations of upcoming college fairs. The office also shares news about exciting events taking place on campus through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

Virtual Tours-It Will Take You Places

Many universities offer virtual tours of their campus. You can find these virtual tours on the schools’ website. Prospective students can take a tour of the campus from the comfort of their homes. These virtual tours often include a tour of buildings across campus and are often guided by a student. Virtual tours can give you a glimpse of the library where you might end up studying, the athletic center where you could be playing soccer or a research lab where you could do groundbreaking research with faculty members. Virtual tours are the next best thing to being on campus in person. Want to take a look at a virtual tour? Click here for Saint Joseph’s University’s virtual tour.

Admission Representatives Love Hearing from You

Admission representatives are one of your best resources during the college search process. You can find information about who your counselor is by visiting the school’s website or you can email the school directly. Your admissions counselor may be charged with reviewing your application after you apply and would be available to assist you with questions you may have about the college search process. International students interested in learning about Saint Joseph’s University and who have admissions related questions can email, Skype and even chat with international counselors. One should not underestimate the power of having that one on one connection with a person from the school of your choice.

The process of getting to know a school can be a very exciting journey. For international students, this exciting journey may not always include a visit to the campus. The inability to visit the school should not be a barrier to pursuing an international education abroad. Prospective students seeking to study abroad must do their due diligence by researching and obtaining all the necessary information required to make a well informed decision during the college search process.


Maxine Adekoya has worked at Saint Joseph's University for two years and has been in higher education for over eight years. Ms. Adekoya works with all international students, domestic students living abroad and students from America Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments posted on wesstudentadvisor.org may be moderated.

Like us on Facebook for exclusive content from U.S. Admissions Experts!