Getting the most out of a visit to a college campus

You're probably aware that visiting a university campus before you submit your college application is a good idea – but why? Many freshmen overlook the importance of actually visiting their prospective colleges. How do you get the most out of a visit to a college campus, and what should you do when you're there?

Trips to college campuses can be exciting, but this also means that it's easy to overlook things, forget to ask certain questions and miss out on opportunities that could make the visit more productive.

The first thing you should do is ask yourself is why you plan on visiting the campus. Is it to get a better idea about college life? Inspect the facilities? Ask questions of faculty members and current students? With so much to do and so little time, you need to plan your trip carefully and identify what you want to accomplish during your visit.

When you're there, be sure to talk to the college admissions adviser. They may want to interview you on the day, so be prepared to answer questions like why you want to attend that particular school. You should also be sure to talk to a professor of the degree program you want to study, and ask them about the specifics of the curriculum. If you can talk to any current students, ask them what they think of the program, the faculty and the school in general. Some schools' open houses allow you to sit in on certain classes. If you can do this for your major, you should definitely do so.

When you're done talking to faculty and students, be sure to wander around campus and see what daily life is like at your prospective university. Check out the bulletin boards and see what kinds of things are happening around campus. Talk to the coaches of any sports you may be interested in playing, and meet with the presidents of any after-school clubs you might want to join.

If you plan to live on-campus, check out the dorms to see what they're like. Talk to the resident assistant if there is one, and ask what life is like in the dorms. After you've looked at where you might be living, be sure to tour the other facilities like the libraries, sports centers and cafeteria.  

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