Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Going Beyond the Typical Campus Tour

The more campuses I tour, the more I realize I need to go “below the surface” of a typical college visit.  Otherwise, I come away from the experience learning little about what it’s like to actually be a student at that school.  If you are planning to visit colleges during an upcoming school break it’s especially important not to visit too many schools back to back and to find ways to distinguish one campus from another. 

Here are some tips for going beyond the typical campus tour:
---Be sure to ask the tour guide some specific questions about her/his own experience as a student.
---Eat lunch in a campus cafeteria and approach students who are eating there with questions.  Most will be happy to share their experience.
---Beforehand, arrange a tour with an admissions officer.  You can search the school website to find out the name of your local college representative.  If he/she is not available, another staff member may be happy to meet you.
---Research your potential major and email a professor in the department, or the department administrator, about possibly setting up a visit when you are on campus.
---Contact a current student, a family friend, acquaintance, or alumnus from your high school and arrange to meet on campus. 
As you plan your campus visits, be sure to allow some “down time” to relax and re-group between each one or two tours.  Jot down your impressions while they are still fresh in your memory.  Taking photos can also help jog your memory later.

I hope you enjoy your visits—as well as experience a little of genuine campus life for students.

Index of Peninsula College Advising Campus Tour Blog Posts from 2013-2019

Index of Peninsula College Advising Campus Tour Blog Posts from 2013-2019:
These are summaries of college tours I have taken in the past five years. 

            1)  Stanford vs. Cal
            2) Brown University
            3) Amherst College and Mt. Holyoke College
            4) Dartmouth College and Middlebury College
            5) Tufts University and Harvard University
            6) Dos and Don't for College Visits
            7) UC Davis
            8) NYU and Columbia University
            9) Santa Clara University
          10) Claremont Colleges
          11) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
          12) Emory University
          13) Sonoma State University
          14) St. Mary's College of California
          15) Bates, Bowdoin and Colby in Maine
          16) Boston College and Boston University
          17) Dominican University, San Rafael
          18) University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
          19) George Washington University and American University
        20) Why Berkeley Engineering??
          21) Babson College: Not Just for Business
          22) Elite Chicago Universities: Similarities and Differences