We live in a world full of technology that allows us to go almost anywhere in the world from the comfort of our desk chairs, but in this technological age there is still no comparison between the virtual and the real thing. When you visit colleges before college applications, nothing compares to actually seeing the campus in person and speaking to researchers and others within the community. You course might be easy to understand from a few guidebooks, but visiting the college is how you really get to understand the community and the spirit; two very important aspects of college life. Campus visits are still highly important, and even better, they are exciting and fun.
Students can use campus visits to understand the college more, the people within it, and what their personal situation would be, while parents can see exactly what kind of institution they are getting for the money. They are memorable occasions for all the family, and this is how to get the most out of a college visit.
1. Get Your Free Food
Most admissions events will get you free lunch with meal tickets. Not only is this free food a bonus, but student cafeterias are the perfect presentation of the student culture. Take note of the students around you; are they all studying? Is it lively or more sensible? Questions like this will help you choose the college that you will fit well in.
2. Go Your Own Way
Normal college tours are an easy way of seeing the campus and are highly recommended for the information they provide, but you should also try to get away from the beaten track and explore the campus for yourself.
3. Talk to as Many People as You Can
Don’t be afraid to approach a college undergraduate to ask them about the college. Their opinion will be naturally well-informed, and realistic, so you can gain a real sense of the college just by having a few short conversations.
4. Come at Office Hours
It can be very good to speak to researchers or professors within your prospective department. You can find out what type of research is being conducted within the department, and you will also be able to see the faculty and understand the professor-student relationship.
College admissions are early days, but it still helps to meet the right kind of people and get yourself introduced. Contacting people beforehand can ensure that you ensure a slot with the right people. The relationships you build with official college members can make a real impact on your application.
6. Be Inquisitive
If you don’t come with questions, you won’t get many answers. Think of as many questions to ask as you can, which will give you a flavor for the programs and general life on campus. Don’t ask the obvious questions that can be found on a FAQ page, as detailed, personal and thought-provoking questions such as graduate opportunities, internships, and social statistics.
7. Pretend That You Are Lost
Apparently, it is a very good idea to pretend to be lost in the middle of campus. If you stand there scratching your head and looking at a map, the reaction you will get from passers-by is a great indication of how the general community behaves.