University Tours During The Summer: Explore The Benefits
You have probably heard many times that you should plan your university tours while college classes are in session. In fact, you've read it here on Go See Campus.
That's because some activities are only available during the school year. Plus, you can get a better sense of what a college is like by visiting when students are on campus.
So why are we suggesting now that you take a university tour in the summer? It's because visiting colleges in June, July, and August gives you opportunities that you wouldn't have at other times of the year. Read on to see all of the advantages.
More Time on Campus
During the fall, winter, and spring, you may have less time than you want for a university tour. High school students may not have enough vacation days, or parents may have a limited number of days-off from work. As a result, you could end up rushing between schools or cutting out campus visits.
The summer is a different story because students and parents find fewer demands on their schedules. This means they can spend more time on each campus, and they can visit a greater number of schools.
Admissions Activities May Still Be Available
Typically, colleges focus on admissions during the fall and spring, which means that information sessions and interviews are held in those seasons. However, some schools host these activities year-round. With some advance research, you can find out whether schools offer the activities that matter most to you during the summer. Go See Campus' College Trip Planner can help you in your research.
Even if the school doesn't offer the activity, there may be alternatives. For example, if a campus tour isn't available, consider taking a self-guided tour. Or, if the admissions office is not running information sessions, try to schedule a one-on-one discussion with an admissions representative.
That brings us to another benefit of university tours in the summer...
More Individual Attention
During the academic year, admissions officers are busy recruiting, running events, and reviewing applications. The summertime is also busy but to a lesser extent. This means that admissions representatives may have more time to talk with you about the college. Plus, your visit will stand out since fewer people are coming by the admissions office to meet the staff.
Some Campus Features Don't Change in the Summer
Whether you take university tours during July or January, you can still learn a lot about whether a college is right for you.
- Facilities: Contact the admissions office in advance to find out if you will have access to the library, student union, and other areas during a summer visit. Remember that you may need special permission to enter residence hall tours; for more details, check out our article on residence hall tours.
- Area: A walk through the surrounding neighborhood will tell you about nearby options for food, shopping, and entertainment. Also, it may cue you in to the safety of living off-campus. In addition, visiting in the summer gives you time to check out local attractions; you may find that the city in which a school is located is a major factor in your college decision.
- The "Pretty" Factor: One of the reasons to visit a college during the academic year (and not the summer) is that you will get a more realistic idea of what the campus will look like year-round. After all, a college in the Northwest may be warm and sunny in June but cold and snowy most of the time. The same is true in reverse, though. If you are visiting during the summer and are turned off by the way that the campus looks at that time, you can deduce that it will not get much prettier in the winter.
- Size: No matter the time of year, visiting a college lets you walk the campus and get a feel for what a "big" or "small" school is. This is especially important early in your college search when you are trying to decide what type of campus fits you.
Students May Be On Campus
Make no mistake: campus life after classes let out will be different from other times of the year. However, you can still meet college students during a university tour that takes place in the summer.
That's because most colleges offer programs that keep college students around campus all year. These students could be taking classes, planning freshman orientation, or working at college offices. Check with the admissions office, since its staff may be able to help you meet up with these students. You can also learn more about connecting with college students on Go See Campus.
Faculty and Staff May Be On Campus
Many colleges offer courses that students can take over the summer months. If you are interested in sitting in on a class, check with the admissions office. There probably is not a formal program, but if you ask for permission, admissions staff may be able to arrange for you to attend a session.
There's also good news for athletes. While coaches are busy when their sports are in season, they may be more available for you during the summer. You can try to arrange a visit during your university tour. Then, you can discuss the things you want to know about the team and the possibility of playing at the varsity level. Find out more about how to play in college.
Your Summer University Tour Awaits
Even if the sun is high and campus life is slow, you can have a valuable experience visiting colleges outside of the academic year. Be sure to plan well, do advance research, and set your expectations about what you will get to see and do. Have a great trip!