Campus visits are very critical in choosing the right university, although they are sometimes overlooked by students. Selecting a college is not only about finding the highest ranking one on a specific list, but also about finding the right fit, since you will be spending at least one year of your life in this place. It is, thus, in your best interest to visit as many campuses as possible in order to find the one that suits you. You would not buy a house without touring it first, so why not tour your college? Considering you are making a big financial and time investment, you should not overlook a campus tour.
I still remember my first day at university. I had spent endless amount of time reading about the university, the campus, and the campus life. I had diligently read everything. I had planned all my moves for my first few days. I even knew the names of the dining commons; which one is good and which one is bad. Or at least I thought I knew.
After a long journey, when I finally arrived at my new home for the next four years, I was awed. I had never been there before and I was all alone. Everything I thought I knew about this place was gone. It is a very unique experience when you first arrive at a campus and it should be a good one. Fortunately, for me it just worked. That was indeed the perfect fit. But I met some people who did not enjoy the campus life, and they either struggled or dropped out within the first few months. I consider myself very lucky, but after going through this experience I think a campus tour would have prepared me better.
You might think that you know everything about a place from researching, but the reality might be very different. The moment you arrive at a new place, you immediately have a feeling about it, either a good or a bad one. While students can find out basically all they need to know about a campus on the internet, until they actually take a trip to the campus, the experience is just theoretical.
There are students who might travel from around the world and, during a campus visit, reconsider their opinion about the university; while others fall in love with the place. Every person experiences the visit differently, so it is important to try this before making a decision. It will allow you to get in first-hand contact with the student body, the learning environment, the campus life, and meet some of the professors. In addition, you can visit the dorms, the dining commons, and the library, some of the more important places in a campus.
Even though you can look for videos, blogs, or ask someone to provide you with information about the campus and the location, do not pass up the opportunity to visit a university campus. You will be missing elements that are critical to understanding if you will be a happy student there. You want to be at a place where you can learn and feel comfortable as a member of the community.