Nowadays many universities offer the ease of going on virtual, online tours through their website, along with providing copious amounts of information through brochures. However, those outlets will not give you a full understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the place. Watching existing students going about the university halls and engaging in activities will lend a hand in you being able to picture yourself in the same environment.

College tours are a great opportunity for you to personally interact with guidance counselors, tutors and the student body in order to judge the vibe of the campus and get an immediate, face to face response for any queries that you may have.

Therefore, in order to find your perfect fit and get a firsthand experience of what various places have to offer, it’s a good idea to go the extra mile and visit a few campuses.

Which Schools Should You Visit?

Deciding on a list of schools to visit can be a daunting task due to the wide array of options available. It would be quite impossible and counterproductive to pay a visit to every university in the vicinity. There are a few approaches you can take to narrow down your options.

If your objective is to gain top quality education, then looking at the university rankings would be a good way to select schools. If someone’s looking for affordable education within a specific budget, it would be a good idea to choose schools based on their scholarships and financial aid options. Using online resources like SchoolApply can also shed some light on how to go about choosing campuses to visit.

Some students may know early on what they want to pursue after school and may already have a university in mind. Some might be indecisive even after finishing school. In any case it’s always advisable to keep your options varied and open, and pay a visit to multiple campuses before deciding on one. There is no prescribed number of campuses you should see. You just need to strike a balance between choosing very few and restricting your choices and choosing too many and ending up being muddled and confused.

How to Prepare for the Tour

It is imperative that you prepare yourself before going on a university tour. After you’ve decided which schools to visit, do your research on each of the schools in order to develop an understanding of the place. Even if you’re unsure of which degree you want to pursue, have a clear plan in mind about what you want to achieve through your time at university so that during the tour you can assess whether the university’s objectives align with your own. Ask an adult to accompany you, preferably your parents, so that you have a mature perspective to rely on.

Lastly, prepare a list of questions to ask the tour guides and admission advisors. The questions can relate to any aspect of university life. Standard questions could be about: university dorms, extracurricular activities offered, on campus student jobs and the extent of assistance the university provides with post-graduation employment.

Bear in mind that picking the right university is one of the most important decisions; therefore take your time, gather all facts and make a well-informed choice.

About the Writer: Mariam Khawer is an Accounts and Finance graduate with a passion for the creative arts.