Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Get the Most out of a Campus Visit

By: Justine D'Souza
Contributing Author

Campus visits represent a unique opportunity when choosing a school. While you can certainly research from an external location, seeing the institution in person provides a very different experience. Here are a few activities you should plan to do when visiting any school:

  1. Explore the campus: Become acquainted with the area and try to imagine yourself as a student there. If you choose to attend this university, you will spend a great amount of time on school grounds. Make sure that they meet your standards. 
  2. Observe at least one class: This will prove to be an invaluable experience, especially if you observe a class in your field of study. It will introduce you to instructors and give you the opportunity to meet potential peer mentors. 
  3. Check out the facilities: Does the university have quiet places to study? Does it offer accessible technological resources to enhance your education? Do the dormitories fit your living needs? Knowing that these resources exist is one thing, and seeing them for yourself is another. 
  4. Look into the community outside the university: How is the city that surrounds the school? Is there a city that surrounds the school? Will you have to venture into the outside area? If yes, is it safe enough for you to do so comfortably? Could the community provide further professional and social opportunities beyond what the school offers? These are all factors to consider when you can see the community for yourself. 
  5. Talk to people outside the recruitment office: Take every chance to discover a new perspective, especially those that don’t do recruiting work. While it’s useful to discuss the school with experienced recruiters, it is also useful to speak candidly with people who are not tasked with selling the institution. 
  6. Meet with administrators: Engage in direct conversations with school employees who can help you navigate logistics and what you should look out for during your academic experience. Representatives from Career Services, Financial Aid, and your academic department could provide you with helpful advice. 
  7. Pick up print materials to take home: You will receive a lot of information on any campus visit, and it may be difficult to keep track of everything. Save all the paperwork and maintain records so you do not lose any important details and can reference them when it is time to make a final decision. 

Living abroad may hinder your ability to visit campuses, but there are still virtual campus tours for you to access campus representatives and hear students talk about their schools. When considering a school, you should also see if it offers its own virtual tours for international students.

What do you look for when visiting campuses?

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