Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Get the Most out of a Campus Visit

By: Justine D'Souza
World Education Services

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

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 the campus of the school. Make sure the campus meets your standards. 

Observe a Class
Going to an in-session class will prove to be an invaluable experience, especially if you observe a class in your field of study. You can get an introduction to instructors and have the opportunity to meet potential peer mentors. 

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. 

See the Community Outside the University
How is the city where the school is located? Is it a place you can picture yourself living comfortably? Could the community provide further professional and social opportunities beyond what the school offers? These are factors to consider when you can experience the community for yourself. 

Talk to People Outside Recruitment
Take every chance to discover a new perspective, especially those whom you have not previously spoken with. While it is 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. 

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. 

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 or remember everything you learned. 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? Let us know below in the comments!
Justine D'Souza
Justine D'Souza works as a Credential Analyst for the Evaluations Department at WES. She holds a B.A. in French with minors in International Business and Political Economy, Organizational Leadership, and Planning and Public Policy. She has experience teaching in both the U.S. and France and has been passionate about international education since her youth.

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