When going on different campus tours, make the most out of your visits by asking lots of questions to the student body. The tour will only show you bits and pieces of the campus and the program you plan on attending, which is why it is advisable to always go beyond what you see and start questioning things. And that’s not meant to be a bad thing – after all, your future depends on the very campus or university you attend. You wouldn’t want to risk enrolling in a college that apparently was unsuitable for you because you ignored to raise your concerns during your college tour.
Below are questions to ask on college tours that will determine whether or not you should consider applying, if not definitely apply, at the campus or university.
“Why did you attend this college?”
Ask this to the students who will guide you during the college tour. The students will offer their insights why they attended the program in college. The answer will allow you to draw from their personal connection with the college and how their experiences shaped them to who they are now. You can also follow up the question with how the college met their expectations before coming in to see if their expectations match yours.
Keep in mind, however, that anything this student will say is jut one student’s opinion and perspective about his or her experience with the college. It is not meant to be a general assessment about a prospective student’s experience in that college.
“What’s a typical class like?”
Some students are more receptive in a small, controlled class setting with less than 20 students. Others will find a large class of more than a hundred students much more conducive to their learning. You should know what kind of class you want to be in and ask your student guide how classes are held in your program of interest. Also, you will also have to factor in the kind of teaching methods the professors in the college generally use. There will be professors who are more laid back and lenient than others, who will be stricter and commands more authority.
To get a better feel of how classes go, you can request to sit down on some of the classes. You can even talk to the professor after classes to discuss more about the classes and their teaching methods.
“What’s it like here during the weekdays?”
While getting a degree is the priority, forming a social life in college is just as important. The friendships and bonds they form during college help them determine who they become and what they want to do in the future.
By asking your student guide what happens on campus during the weekdays, you are trying to get a better sense on what goes on in the day-to-day activities in the lives of students. Aside from how much time they spend studying and writing papers for their classes, the question also aims to cover the extra-curricular activities that students are allowed to do. This involves the different organizations they can join, the leisure spots student frequent to when they’re not busy studying, and even the camaraderie formed between professors and students, among others.
“How is the support services in this campus?”
If you have a physical and/or mental disability, having extensive support services allow you to receive the proper treatment and care even while you’re away from home. We have documented in this blog the importance of have a disability support services in college, as well as the experiences of a parent, whose son is suffering from cerebral palsy, during their visits in the different colleges in Canada. Suffice to say, the campus you plan on attending must accommodate your disability and allows you to have a college experience that’s comparable to a non-disabled student.
Even if you don’t have disabilities, you may still need support in the future if there are things in life you are having difficulty dealing with. It is good to have the option of being able to talk to someone and asking for their professional help to guide you in your studies and life.
“How’s the food in here?”
Whether or not you believe in the freshman 15, the food you eat during your stay in college, especially for boarders, will determine your health and well-being in the coming years. For those looking for meal plans, make sure that you know how much food will be given to you throughout the entire semester. If you restrict yourself to eating certain foods like vegetables, ask if the campus offers alternatives inside or do you have to go out for that.
“Are there academic and career resources available?”
While you wouldn’t normally be concerned with the kind of career you want to have after graduating from college, it is good to have these resources available at your disposal. Academic resources, in particular academic advising, will help you with your poor study habits and put your grades back on track. However, most students should find the career resources helpful, especially if they want to apply for part-time work or internship while attending classes. Even after they graduate, students can refer to these resources for job openings and opportunities.