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  • Writer's pictureDanielle

6 Ways To Visit A College Campus

Can't make an "official" visit to a college campus? No worries, there are plenty of ways to still explore and learn about a campus on your own!

young woman in college campus library talking to a group of students
Photo by Kampus Productions

Visiting college campuses is an important part of the college selection process. It's a chance to get a feel for the campus environment, see the facilities firsthand, and envision yourself as part of the community. Formal guided tours have traditionally been a popular way to explore colleges, but they're not the only option. In fact, there are plenty of ways to visit a college without committing to a structured tour.

Sometimes, family, school and work schedules, and cost can be a major barrier for some who desire to visit a campus. Here are 6 ways to visit a college campus without doing a formal tour:

1. Self-Guided Tours: Many colleges and universities have self-guided tour materials available for visitors, like paper maps, or written guides with QR codes along the way to tell you more about a stop on campus. These typically include maps of the campus with suggested routes and points of interest marked along the way. With a self-guided tour, you have the flexibility to explore at your own pace and focus on areas that are most important to you.

2. Virtual Tours: In today's digital age, virtual tours have become increasingly common, especially after the pandemic in 2020. Many colleges offer virtual tours on their websites, allowing you to explore campus from the comfort of your own home. Virtual tours often include interactive maps, videos, and 360-degree panoramic views of campus buildings and landmarks. Additionally, there are a variety of vlogs and streaming shows that detail college campuses and students, like The College Tour, a show streaming on Amazon Prime.

3. Attend an Event: Colleges frequently host admissions events, open houses, and information sessions for prospective students and their families. While these events may include guided tours as part of the agenda, they also offer opportunities to explore campus independently. You can use these events to wander around campus, visit academic departments, and engage with current students and faculty.

4. Schedule an Individual Visit: Some colleges offer the option to schedule an individual visit outside of formal tour times. During an individual visit, you can meet with an admissions counselor, tour campus on your own, and even sit in on classes or meet with professors in your intended field of study. This personalized approach allows you to tailor your visit to your specific interests and questions.

5. Wander Around: If you find yourself near a college campus that you're interested in, stop by and take a look around! Many colleges have open campuses with public spaces such as libraries, student centers, and outdoor areas that are accessible to visitors. You can wander around campus, soak in the atmosphere, and get a sense of what it would be like to live and study there.

Aerial shot of busy campus library
Photo by Pixabay

6. Connect with Students: Reach out to current students or alumni of the college you're interested in and ask them about their experiences. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and even LinkedIn can be great resources for connecting with current students and getting insider perspectives on campus life.

While formal guided tours can be informative and helpful, they're not the only way to explore college campuses. Whether you opt for a self-guided tour, a virtual tour, or an individual visit, the key is to take advantage of any opportunity to immerse yourself in the college experience and gather information that will help you make an informed decision about your future.

Have you ever visited a college one of these ways? Did you prefer it over a formal visit? Check us out on FB or IG and let us know!


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