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4 tips on making the most of summertime college visits
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/4-tips-on-making-the-most-of-summertime-college-visits-946

Posted: 2016-06-17

by Lulu Curiel

Summer is a great time of year for you to see firsthand if a college is the right school for you. College visits are one of the most exciting times in your highschool career, and possibly the most enjoyable part of the entire application process. Visiting your list of top college choices will allow you to envision what the next four years will look like.

Here are four recommendations to help you get the most out of your summer campus visits:

1. Take a tour and ask questions

Just like any other vacation or trip, planning ahead is crucial to the success of your college visit. Take the time to research and utilize the existing resources at the university.

Most universities will have guided tours available for you to enroll in. As mundane as it may seem, scheduling a formal tour will give you a chance to hear about the best features of the school. Current students usually give campus tours, so be sure to take advantage of their knowledge. After all, they’re experts in all things about the university and will be one of your best resources.

Here are some example questions you may be interested in asking:

  1. How would you describe the culture of this school?
  2. How accessible are the professors outside of the classroom?
  3. How would you describe the learning environment?
  4. Why did you choose to attend this school over any other option?
  5. What was your freshman year experience like?

RELATED: Making the most of the college visit

2. Attend a class and visit the dining hall

Some universities offer summer classes. If accessible, attend a class and experience the classroom dynamic. This is a unique experience for you to witness the professors and students in action, then ask: do I envision myself here? Then take a trip to the dining hall. Not only will you be able to taste the food – which is an important factor – but also you will be able to get a real sense for the pulse of the campus. Observe the atmosphere in the room. How are people interacting with each other? Is it an environment you can picture yourself enjoying daily?

3. Schedule informational interviews

If you already have a major or career in mind, you might want to schedule an appointment to meet with the department chair during your campus visit. In most cases, the chairperson will be ecstatic to meet with a potential major. Also, this will be a great opportunity for you to get valuable insight into the types of courses you would take and academic opportunities the major offers. Don’t be afraid to schedule a few of these interviews during your visit. If the opportunity is offered, interview an admissions rep in the Office of Admission. If the university doesn’t present this option, try to stop by the Office of Admission anyway and introduce yourself. Explain your interests and gather more information about the university as it relates to you. Taking initiative early on is a great way to show your interest in the university.

4. Log your experiences

Campus visits can be a bit overwhelming with information and feelings of excitement. You’re quickly approaching the next chapter in your life and will experience a roller coaster of emotions. It’s important for you to log your impression of the university. You should document your thoughts and feelings digitally in your phone or reflect upon them daily in a notebook. Your notes will be valuable to reference later on, especially if you are visiting multiple campuses, when it’s time to start the application process.

RELATED: Being smart about recommendation letters before senior year of high school

Summer is a great time of year for you to see firsthand if a college is the right school for you. College visits are one of the most exciting times in your highschool career, and possibly the most enjoyable part of the entire application process. Visiting your list of top college choices will allow you to envision what the next four years will look like.

Here are four recommendations to help you get the most out of your summer campus visits:

1. Take a tour and ask questions

Just like any other vacation or trip, planning ahead is crucial to the success of your college visit. Take the time to research and utilize the existing resources at the university.

Most universities will have guided tours available for you to enroll in. As mundane as it may seem, scheduling a formal tour will give you a chance to hear about the best features of the school. Current students usually give campus tours, so be sure to take advantage of their knowledge. After all, they’re experts in all things about the university and will be one of your best resources.

Here are some example questions you may be interested in asking:

  1. How would you describe the culture of this school?
  2. How accessible are the professors outside of the classroom?
  3. How would you describe the learning environment?
  4. Why did you choose to attend this school over any other option?
  5. What was your freshman year experience like?

RELATED: Making the most of the college visit

2. Attend a class and visit the dining hall

Some universities offer summer classes. If accessible, attend a class and experience the classroom dynamic. This is a unique experience for you to witness the professors and students in action, then ask: do I envision myself here? Then take a trip to the dining hall. Not only will you be able to taste the food – which is an important factor – but also you will be able to get a real sense for the pulse of the campus. Observe the atmosphere in the room. How are people interacting with each other? Is it an environment you can picture yourself enjoying daily?

3. Schedule informational interviews

If you already have a major or career in mind, you might want to schedule an appointment to meet with the department chair during your campus visit. In most cases, the chairperson will be ecstatic to meet with a potential major. Also, this will be a great opportunity for you to get valuable insight into the types of courses you would take and academic opportunities the major offers. Don’t be afraid to schedule a few of these interviews during your visit. If the opportunity is offered, interview an admissions rep in the Office of Admission. If the university doesn’t present this option, try to stop by the Office of Admission anyway and introduce yourself. Explain your interests and gather more information about the university as it relates to you. Taking initiative early on is a great way to show your interest in the university.

4. Log your experiences

Campus visits can be a bit overwhelming with information and feelings of excitement. You’re quickly approaching the next chapter in your life and will experience a roller coaster of emotions. It’s important for you to log your impression of the university. You should document your thoughts and feelings digitally in your phone or reflect upon them daily in a notebook. Your notes will be valuable to reference later on, especially if you are visiting multiple campuses, when it’s time to start the application process.

RELATED: Being smart about recommendation letters before senior year of high school

 

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