Friday, September 4, 2015

Visiting Campus: Part 3 - What to Bring to Your Visit

When I was preparing for my own campus visits, 6 years ago for undergrad and 2 years ago for grad school, I consistently researched what to bring on a campus tour, what to wear, and what questions to ask. I got very little guidance and had to use trial and error until I got it down to a science!

What to Bring:
  • Folder and Notebook: You will want something to carry any hand-outs you get, as well as, a place to keep your questions and to take any notes during presentations or conversations. 
  • Pen/Pencil: Obviously to take notes. *When meeting faculty and other administrators, if they talk with you about things you are interested in or chair the program you hope to study, write down their name and e-mail address so that you can send them a quick e-mail when you decide to apply!
  • Questions: Research the university's website before you visit so that you know what you want to ask. (Below, I've made up a list of some good questions to ask if you can't think of anything)
  • Résumé: This isn't required by any means and you can use your own judgment, but you may want to have a small résumé for your interview or just for your Admissions Counselor to add to your profile. (You can include academic awards, clubs and organizations, and part-time jobs)
Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

What to Wear:
This was one thing that I really needed guidance for before I visited my first college ... I even instant messaged my Admissions Counselor to ask her what she recommended her students wear to interviews/visits. Here are my suggestions:
  • You'll want to look nice, as to make a good impression, but you also want to be comfortable when walking around on your campus tour. 
  • Unless you have a prestigious scholarship interview or an audition for a program, you won't need to wear a suit and tie or a fancy dress. 
    • Khakis, dark wash jeans, nice button down shirt, blouse with a sweater, conservative-length skirt (A little shorter than knee length or longer)
  • Check the forecast for the college town before you leave. You won't want to leave your raincoat or umbrella at home if it's going to rain!
Navy Khakis, Flower Blouse, Cream Sweater
Brown Ballet Flats, Brown Satchel

Some Questions to Ask:
  • To Students:
    • What's your favorite place on campus?
    • What do students do on the weekends? Do they go into town a lot or just stay on campus?
    • Do you think the faculty are easily available outside of class?
    • What has been your favorite experience here so far?
  • To Admissions Representatives:
    • What is your university's student body like?/What is your typical student like? ie: values, aspirations, actions.
    • If this campus was known for one thing, what would you say it is?
    • Why did you choose to come here? (As an alum or as a new employee)
Colgate University, Hamilton, New York

I hope this helps you prepare a little better for your campus visit! My major suggestion though is to go to each university with an open mind. Every college campus is different; each one has their own identity, their own students, and their own culture, so don't judge one based on another. **Also, don't forget to go to the book store and pick up a t-shirt as a souvenir!

enjoy the chase,

P.S. Follow us on Twitter @Chasing_College  

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