international student life

international student

Tips for College visits for incoming freshmen.

Important things to know when doing a college visit to try to determine what college to attend.

If you are going to visit several colleges and possibly many places in each college, make sure to take lots of pictures and have them sorted properly so you know what picture is for what. This will help you remember what those places look like. You can easily do this with your cell phone camera. If you are visiting college A, B and C, write that on a paper, then when you go to college A, take a picture of that paper written college A, then take pictures of that college. When you go to College B, take a picture of a paper written College B and then take pictures at college B. This will help you know what pictures are for what college.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Your tour guide will be able to answer pretty much anything you could think of. This will give you all the information you need. You don't want to regret later at home wishing you knew something that you didn't get the chance to ask during the college tour.

Take your own tour. The official tour is designed to take you around the nicest and most interesting parts of campus. However, when you are in college, you'll be spending a lot of time in other places as well. So after the official tour ends, walk around and see some places that they didn't show you.

If you know your major, visit some professors. A lot of schools are known for proficiency in one particular major. Find the offices of that major and talk to some professors. You will learn more from doing that than you may from the actual tour. A word of caution however is that some professors won't like being bothered by a high schooler. So if you go to talk with them, be confident, professional, have questions planned, and don't feel bad if they don't have time for you.

Also make sure to get a lot of flyers and materials during the college tour. These contain a lot of information about the college. However don't believe everything in the flyers. They are usually designed to be as attractive as possible so as to entice you to attend that college.

If you can, try to get something to eat from the college dining hall. It might be closed to visitors, but take the chance if you can. You don't want to be stuck eating crappy food for months on end, and buying snack food is tough on your wallet and your waistline.

Also try to find out what's in the surrounding area. You don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere. For city schools, this isn't really an issue, but a lot of schools will be in towns that have absolutely nothing going on.

You can also pretend you attend the university and go through "A Day In The Life". Start off at a dorm and check out food options, see how long it takes to get to class from there, sit in on a lecture or two (often time the lecture hall is so big that they won't mind having a non-student sitting in). Maybe afterward head to a school gym to check out workout facilities or go to a nearby popular student hangout spot as well.

Ask students around campus. A lot of college students like to talk about their majors, their college, and their overall experiences. Often times you'll meet someone who loves giving advice, and getting a student's insight is really helpful.

Check if anyone from your high school or from your area went to the college that you are visiting. See if they would be willing to show you around, or talk to you about the university. Often you will be taking tours with your parents, and there may be things that you want to know that you wouldn't feel discussing in front of them.

Some colleges can even set you up on overnight stays with students. These students will give you an good view of the non-academic side of the college. It's very revealing. Ask about the easy of credit transfers. This is very important because many for-profit schools and religious schools aren't accredited and their credits don't transfer.

Ask what percent of students live on campus and how many stay on campus over the weekend. Some schools have a community feel and the social atmosphere remains on campus. Some have a class-only feel, and students don't know each other outside of class. Which you prefer is up to you.


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