You need to take a campus tour because, the college websites always portray a rosy picture where happy faces laugh and study on lush green lawns, the libraries boast of the latest collection of books, and all the facilities are state-of-the-art. However, the reality is many a time different from what actually is shown in the brochures or on the official college website. You will find a lot of information about any college by taking a tour of its campus, and then deciding on it.
How to Plan a College Campus Tour
Every student wishes to get into a good college, which is the best in everything. College reputation, faculty, and infrastructure are the most important things that you should pay attention to. Are you on the hunt to find the best college and are planning for a campus tour? Make sure you have checked all these things in your campus visit checklist.
1. When to Plan the College Visit
Prepare a list of your choice of colleges as you near your senior year in high school, and plan the tour to these colleges soon before you start the application process. You can visit on weekdays (Monday to Thursday), as generally during Fridays the campus is abuzz with activities, and you may not find anyone to interact with. You definitely cannot visit the campus on holidays, because you will miss out on many things, as the campus will wear a deserted look on holidays, with no students there. So, plan for a weekday campus tour.
2. Check the Infrastructure
The first thing you will notice on a campus tour will definitely be the outer infrastructure, like the buildings, lawns, vehicle parking facility, etc. Check if the buildings are neatly maintained and are in a good condition. When you first see the campus, do you wish to be a part of it? Go by your gut feeling. A college should have good infrastructure; along with well-equipped libraries and comfortable classrooms. Stroll around the campus and check the inner infrastructure. A tour through the campus gives you a first-hand experience of the facilities.
3.Check the Dorm Room and Cafeteria
If you are planning to stay in the dorm room, you should thoroughly check all the facilities there. It is often the case that most colleges are good as far as education is concerned, but they do not have good residential facilities. You can ask the students who stay on-campus about services like a laundry room, Internet availability, reading room, etc. Visit the cafeteria, and if it's permitted, taste the food there to understand the quality of food prepared.
4. Check the Campus
A visit to the campus gives you the actual feel of the campus life. Take a look at the campus, is it clean and tidy, and as per your expectations? You can make out a lot about the college by visiting it. If you are a sports enthusiast, you should make sure that the college you will choose has excellent sporting facilities. In this way, think about what you want from a college; is your focus more on academics or on extra-curricular and sporting activities? Picture how you want your college to be and only then take the decision.
A campus visit facilitates interaction between the students and professors, and through this you can get to know a lot about the college. Talk to random students, and ask them about the campus life and their experiences. Also inquire with the professors and students about the various courses available, their level of difficulty, about the teacher to student ratio, and the number of students in a class. Though it is advisable not to ask about too many details, you can at the least, ask some professors about the course difficulty. Talk to the admissions committee if you are interested in the college and note the details about the admission process.
6. Be Prepared
A tour of the campus can take much of your time, even the whole day. Make sure that you carry enough water with you on the tour, as this may be helpful if you have to take long walks from one department to other. You may also like to note some things, like important dates, or something you found about the cafeteria. So carry with you a pen and a notepad, to be ready to jot down important notes.
Visiting the college is the best way to find if the college is suitable for you. As you see, a college campus tour facilitates so much and is any time better than visiting its website, that provides only a few details. So visit all the colleges of your choice with your parents to be on the safer side, and make the most out of it. Cheers!