How to Make the Best of Your College Tour

Students walking outside the Admission Visitor CenterDid you know that high school students in New England get an entire week off in February? This is one of our busiest times for campus visits – we meet so many juniors beginning to think about their college options. In preparation for those February Vacation weeks, we thought we’d suggest some tips for how to get the most out of a campus visit (at any time of year!):

  • Don’t just visit the college, visit the neighborhood. Take some time before or after your tour to walk the area around campus.
  • Ask questions! Your tour guides are students too, and they prefer it when tours are more interactive. It makes the tour more fun for everyone and you’ll make sure you leave campus with all of the answers.
  • Before you leave, figure out who you should contact if you have more questions. We can almost guarantee that you’ll be sitting in the car on your way home when you’ll think of something you really wanted to know. Remember, the end of the tour isn’t the end of the conversation!
  • Scope out the activity and bulletin boards posted around campus. Sure, every college will say there’s a lot to do, but the boards are a good way to get a feel for what’s REALLY happening on campus.
  • If possible, eat at an on-campus venue. Many colleges and universities will let you pay cash to eat in their dining halls. If you’re going to live there for four years, you want to make sure you like the food, right?
  • If you didn’t get shown something you really wanted to see on tour, ask your tour guides to bring you there or to give you directions. They are there to make sure you have the best experience possible, and though not every facility can be shown at all times, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • Ask your tour guides specific questions, like what projects they’re currently working on, or what their plans are for this weekend. It will give you a better snapshot of what day-to-day life is like.
  • Don’t try to visit more than two schools in a day. Even if you can logistically squeeze them in, you’ll be so exhausted by the third school that you won’t be able to give it the consideration it deserves. When you visit too many schools in too short an amount of time they can all start to blend together, no matter how different they might be.
  • Plan directions and parking ahead of time, and make sure you leave yourself at least an extra fifteen minutes to find the Admission building and get signed in for the tour. Whether it’s having trouble finding parking at an urban school, or getting utterly lost on campus at a big suburban institution, there are a lot of factors that can hold you up. Not only will you save yourself unnecessary stress, you’ll also make a much nicer impression arriving ten minutes early – as opposed to ten minutes late.

Use the tips you’ve just learned on a visit to Emerson — check out our campus visit options here!

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