Summer is a time of fun and vacation. But for some of us, it should also be a time for college tours.
Touring colleges over the summer can be a great opportunity to see potential schools without missing any schooling of your own. Setting up college tours can be a daunting task though.
This past summer, I visited Washington University in St. Louis. It was my first college tour. I was terrified. But, I ended up really enjoying the experience, and I think many of you would too.
Despite what you may think, setting up tours can be fairly easy. During the school year I received a letter from Washington University informing me that they were having a liberal arts day.
Many colleges hold events like this. And you can be notified by requesting emails or visiting their website. Then, when you see one that would fit your likes, you can often sign up online.
After I signed up, I received a packet of information I would need in the mail. BE SURE TO PACK THIS. It has all the details listed for you, so you won’t have to stress as long as you remember it.
Prior to the tour, be sure to consider some possible questions you would like answered. You could ask about:
- Financial aid programs
- Class sizes
- Study abroad programs
- Campus life
- Living arrangements
- Sports teams
- Potential clubs
- Or anything else you may be curious about
On the day of the tour, you may be nervous and excited. Which is totally normal. I know I was. But just remember everyone there is trained to help you have the best experience possible during the tour.
When I got to the campus, I immediately felt better. The organization of the whole thing put me at ease.
After signing in, I was assigned a tour group number. I went with that group when it was called, and our tour guide showed us around the school, told us about campus life, and answered questions for us.
After the tour, everybody met up for a presentation on the liberal arts programs at the school. This overview of the program really helped me to get a feel for the school’s goal for learning.
After this, there was an opportunity to talk to some of the professors. And if you get that chance, don’t be shy. It can really help you understand what some of the classes are about. (And we got served local ice cream, so that was a cool bonus.)
I fell in love with the school. And I can’t say for sure that it is where I want to go, I am considering it. It had a lot of things I really liked.
Ask All The Questions
The class sizes ranged from a handful of students to a full lecture hall. This is something I appreciated for because I am not sure how I will like certain class sizes, and this way I get to try different ones out.
The campus I also really close to hundreds of dining establishments, a park, a zoo, and a handful of museums. This is ideal for me because I want to experience new things while I am away at college.
I also realized while I was touring the school that their lack of a marching band wasn’t as big of a loss as I thought because numerous other new clubs, programs, and research projects could fill my time.
Something else I didn’t even realize I should be looking for where study abroad opportunities. I am currently taking French classes, and I realized it would be amazing to study French in France for a couple weeks. I had always thought they were at least a semester. But I found out that study abroad programs can be just a few weeks!
We also talked about financial aid. Washington University hopes to eliminate cost as a barrier for attendance for any students. If you would like to find out more, visit the financial aid section of their website.
And that was the end of my college tour at Washington University. I loved it. And if you are considering a college, make an effort to set up a tour. You won’t regret it.