Summer Springboard Success Stories

Make the Most of Your College Tours This Spring

February 22, 2017

Its that time of year. Spring is right around corner, which means it is the perfect time to start planning your college visits and campus tours. Talk with your family about your options and compile a list of schools you are interested in attending. Ideally you will want to see the campus in action, so try to plan your visits when classes are in session.

To make the most of your visit we recommend you make a list of questions before you go. Keep it on your phone so you can have it with you on the tour.  Try to hit each of the following categories. You can use the samples provided or use them as a template to create your own list of questions.

 

  • Academics

 

    • Are some majors or departments considered stronger or more popular than others?
    • How large are classes?
    • Are the classes more lecture-based, project-based, or discussion-based?
    • Are classes taught by professors or teaching assistants?
    • Do most professors have office hours?
    • Are there study groups or study labs available?
    • Where do students study?

 

 

  • Social Emotional Support

 

    • Is there a health center on campus for students?
    • Are there any resources available for students with special needs? (If this is uncomfortable to ask in a large group, see if you can have a 1:1 with an admissions counselor that can help you understand the services better)
    • Is there a program for freshmen to meet people socially? Is it fun?

 

 

  • Career + Intern Opportunities

 

    • Are there are opportunities for undergraduates to work on research projects with professors?
    • Are there opportunities to explore career choices?
    • How do students get set up with internships?
    • Is there an opportunity for me to study abroad?

 

 

  • Clubs + Organizations

 

    • Are there clubs for students to join?
    • Can you tell me more about insert club name here? (Examples might include the student newspaper, student magazine, international relations clubs, art groups, science clubs, musical performances, sports, plays, bands, ensembles…whatever you’re interested in!)
    • Are there volunteer groups or organizations?
    • Is Greek Life a big part of student life here?

 

 

  • Campus Culture

 

    • Where do students hangout? On campus and off campus?
    • What about good cafès for getting work done or finding the perfect latte?
    • Have there been any recent student protests? What were they protesting, and how did staff and faculty respond?
    • What are the big campus events? (homecoming, speakers, alumni weekend etc.)
    • Are freshmen allowed to have cars? How do people get around campus/town?
    • Is it safe to walk around at night? What are the safety measures in place?

 

 

  • Residence Life

 

    • How are the dorms organized?  Are there 2 or 3 person rooms? Are therea any suite style residence halls?
    • How do we get placed with a roommate? Do you have to have a roommate?
    • How do you get laundry done on campus?
    • Where do we eat? Do we have to purchase a meal plan?
    • Are there any special interest dorms? (FYI: Some universities have floors or dorms designated for specific groups, examples might be: healthy living, international, green focused, honors students)
    • Where do upperclassmen live?

 

 

  • Personal Questions (for the student tour guide or other students you meet)

 

    • What’s your favorite class? Who is your favorite professor? Why?
    • What does a typical day or week look like for you?
    • What is something you wish you knew your freshmen year?
    • Do you have a favorite spot on campus?

 

Other Tips:

  • See if you can schedule an overnight stay. Some colleges offer an opportunity for you to meet current students, stay overnight and experience what life is like on campus beyond the basic tour.
  • College should be an enjoyable place and time in your life so imagine yourself on campus. Can you see yourself living, studying, and playing on this campus for four years (or more!)?
  • If possible experience campus at different times of day. What is it like in the morning vs. lunch vs. evening?
  • Attend an event. Check out a game, an arts performance, or a lecture series. This will be a great way to get a feel for the culture of campus and see if it’s a good fit for you.
  • Snap a few pictures with your phone while you are out and about. If you visit multiple campuses it will be good to have an index of photos to look back on.

 

Visiting campuses and taking college tours is an exciting next step in this phase of your life. Being prepared with questions and planning ahead will help ease the stress of these visits. This summer, Summer Springboard will be held on two of the top college campuses in the US. You will have the opportunity to tour and explore the campuses of Yale University and University of California at Berkeley. You will live in the dorms, eat in the dining halls, and learn in the lecture halls and classrooms. If you would like to join us apply today for our programs being held in July 2017.