The time has come for you to start touring colleges. Whether you are excited or a little nervous, preparation is essential to having your college tour experience go smoothly. Check out these tips on how to have the best experience possible, and how to know which college is the right one for you.
How to Prepare
Register for the tour early. Then, print out a campus map. Note what you want to make a point to see, and where the tour starts and departs so you know where to go before tour day. Think of about five things you want to know about the school, things you cannot find in a college’s promotional materials. Perhaps what students like most about their school, and what they really do for fun. Write all your questions down and make a point to ask at least one. You could talk with your tour guide or even with students you see around campus. While it might be awkward, you want to get answers straight from students to see how they honestly view their school.
Decide How You Will Get There
Depending on where the school is, you might need to drive, take a bus, fly, or use public transportation to get there. If the school is far away, consider flying and then renting a car. Once you figure out which method of transportation you will be using, get directions to campus, whether those are printed, on your GPS, or on your phone. You want to show up on time for your tour because oftentimes tour guides cannot wait for latecomers.
What to Expect
The tours at every school are different, but most start with an admissions overview from someone who works in the admissions department. They will usually show a video, go over basic application requirements, and might bring up a panel of students to talk about their involvement in class and out. After leaving time for questions, the tour departs. Sometimes you can choose your tour guide, but oftentimes you are assigned a tour group. The guide will introduce themselves before leading you around to the main sites on campus. This typically includes campus landmarks, the library, a classroom building, a dorm room, and a dining hall. Along the way, your tour guide will explain what each facility offers and allow time for prospective students and families to ask questions.
Use the college tour to decide what you think of the school and take time to experience what the college atmosphere is like. It seems like a huge decision, and it is! Trust yourself and have a great visit!