Tour Guide Advice: Make the Most of Your Campus Visit
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the middle of or about to start on the exciting journey of college visits. As you whittle down the list of colleges you’re willing to spend an afternoon at, we’d like to offer you some of our expert advice.
The Georgia State Welcome Center is home to the university’s tour guides. We’re the ones who walk you through campus, answer your questions, and give you a student’s perspective on college life. This past summer a few of us ventured out of Georgia State’s territory and toured other universities in the Atlanta area to get a more well-rounded idea of what makes for a great college tour experience.
We attended college tours at a private liberal arts college, a private research institution, a STEM-focused research school, and a public regional university. Combining our backgrounds as professional student ambassadors with the knowledge we gained from these other visits, we created a helpful list of tips to make the most of your campus visit experience – no matter where you go.
- Come prepared. From the clothes you wear to the mindset you arrive in, you can take several steps to ensure your visit is everything you want it to be before you even head out the door. Since most college tours are walking tours, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water! Consider the weather forecast and bring an umbrella or apply sunscreen as necessary. Most importantly, bring a pad and pen so you can take notes.
- Ask questions! Your tour guide loves their university so much that they’re willing to share the love with everyone who steps foot on their campus. They are knowledgeable and approachable, so make sure to take advantage and ask lots of productive questions. While asking about academic resources is important, remember that your tour guide is also a student, so don’t neglect to ask them about the social aspects of their university. For example, you could ask questions about programs geared toward student life and the kind of social events that the university holds on campus.
- Take pictures. Give your memory a break and use your devices to take pictures. If you see an interesting art piece, or a flyer for an event that you see yourself attending, or even a celebrity (hello, Bill Gates!), capture the moment so you can recall it as you shortlist the schools you liked best. Be mindful of the university’s hashtags; if you tour Georgia State’s campus, let us know by tagging the picture with #TheStateWay!
- Use your time wisely. Since you already made the journey to campus, you might as well take advantage of campus resources. Turn in any lingering admissions documents, meet with financial aid, and speak with counselors to clarify any admissions-related questions. To round out your visit, stop by the bookstore and grab yourself some merch!
- Visualize yourself as a part of the community. Once the tour is over, make a note of the way the experience made you feel. Can you see yourself as a student on that campus? Did you feel like the university met your expectations? Most importantly, do you see yourself being successful in that environment? Write down a summary of your experience and note these important considerations as you compile a list of universities. As you approach the application process, come back to this list to better figure out which college is the best fit for you.
College tours are a great way to learn more about the college experience and capture the spirit of the campus. If you’re touring multiple schools as you narrow down your list, keeping our suggestions in mind can ease some of the stress that comes along with making such an important decision. Of course, if you want to experience Georgia State for yourself, we’d love to host you on one of our campus tours. Come meet our fantastic guides, step into the shoes of a Georgia State student, and see for yourself why you should go #TheStateWay!