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College visits are some of the most exciting times for high school students. You’re getting recruitment letters in the mail, scholarship offers and emails trying to get you to be a part of a college’s culture. A college visit is one of the most critical parts when deciding where you want to enroll. Follow this list of nine places of what to visit on a college tour.
When you go on a college tour, a student guide may take you to visit the student housing options on campus. This part of your tour is among the most important because your dorm is where you’ll likely spend a lot of time. It’s where you’ll sleep, study, eat, and hang out with friends.
If your tour takes you to one dorm, ask if you can also see other halls. The layouts will differ from dorm to dorm. Some may have community bathrooms, whereas others have private ones. You’ll want to find two or three dorm halls you like so you have backups in case you don’t get your first choice.
2. Dining Hall
Like the dorms, the dining hall is another excellent place to visit because you’ll spend time here often. Depending on the college, your guided tour may provide you with a meal at the dining facility. If it’s your first time living away from home, it’s essential to see what food options the school offers. Colleges and universities are improving at making their dining more inclusive for all diets, including vegetarian, vegan, and more.
3. Program Facilities
If you already know what your major will be, take a tour of the academic facilities associated with your degree program. This part of the tour will give you a hands-on look at places you’ll be spending a lot of your time during your academic career.
For example, if you plan on majoring in journalism, plan a visit to the student newspaper, radio station or TV studio. You’ll likely find students and faculty here who will answer questions about the degree program, clubs and opportunities for experience in your field of study.
Some students like to study in their dorms, whereas others prefer to go to the library. This facility is one of the quietest places on campus, creating an apt environment for productivity and learning. Touring the library will give you an idea of the layout and what it provides for students. Most colleges’ libraries allow students to use computers and printers for free. There are also private study rooms for collaborative study sessions with classmates.
Transportation is an underrated factor that students should consider when visiting college campuses. Ask your tour guide how students typically get to campus and what transportation the university provides.
Many colleges have shuttle buses that pick up students in the surrounding areas and take them to campus. Other students may drive their vehicles and park on campus. If the university is in a city, there are likely bus and subway stations with stops at the campus. Knowing the transportation situation will help you make a decision on what college you want to attend.
6. Stadiums and Arenas
If you are interested in athletics, try to carve out some time to visit the athletic facilities on campus. College athletics is a source of pride for many students, and the shared love for football, basketball and more creates a bond among friends. Some of the greatest memories for alumni took place in the football field, softball stadium, and basketball arena. These places are great to visit if you are interested in sports medicine, sports management, and similar majors.
7. Recreation Center
Athletes aren’t the only students on campus who get to train. Most colleges and universities have recreation centers for students to exercise and play sports. These facilities are excellent options for students who want to get and stay in shape and find activities to do with their friends.
The college you tour may have courts and fields specifically for intramural sports on campus. These leagues are fantastic opportunities to create a team with friends and have fun with lighthearted competition against fellow students.
8. Areas Surrounding Campus
When you’re on a college tour, take some time to look around the city and the surrounding areas of campus. If your school is in a metropolitan area, go sightseeing and find local restaurants, historical sites and other places the locals like to frequent. If the school is in a rural area, take advantage of any hiking trails, lakes, rivers and forests in the nearby area.
9. Cultural Centers
One of the best parts about going to college is meeting people worldwide. Some universities partner with other countries to establish exchange programs and study abroad trips. On your tour, ask if you can visit the cultural centers on campus. This opportunity can help you learn more about foreign language and cultural programs. You can also start thinking about study abroad programs, which most colleges offer.
Taking Advantage of Your College Tour
For prospective students, a college tour can be an exciting experience. You’re getting your first glimpse at what the next stage of your life will look like. Prioritize visiting the places you think you will spend the most time. You may want to see the dorms, the cafeteria and the lecture halls. Remember these nine places for what to visit on a college tour.