University visits can be one of the best parts of deciding where you want to study. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your campus tour.
Campus visit questions to guide you
What opportunities are available?
Whether you're interested in sports, part-time jobs, research assistant positions, or getting involved in different student clubs, it’s always good to know what options might be available for you in the future. You can start with a broad question like this one and get more specific as you learn more about what's available on campus.
How would you describe student life?
One thing your tour might not give you is an accurate read on is the student life. Generally, tours run during classes or on weekends and you don’t get to see the usual campus buzz. Every campus has its own vibe so asking about it will help you envision yourself on campus.
What's the food like?
Food is a necessity as well as a want, so knowing that there is good food, and lots of options – veggie, halal, dietary restrictions – available on campus is always important.
How does co-op work?
Waterloo's co-op program is an amazing opportunity, but it may not be the right fit for everyone. Be sure to ask any and all questions you may have pertaining to co-op and if it's a good option for you.
- When does co-op start?
- What could I do to prepare?
- How do I get a co-op job?
- Where are the co-op jobs?
- Can I find my own co-op job?
Don't forget to ask your tour guide about their or their friends' co-op experiences. Everyone brings a variety of different experiences to the table, and you never know what might resonate with you.
- Who did you work for during co-op?
- What did you do there?
- Would you go back? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Were you able to pay for school with the salary you made?
- How did you find a place to live?
Prepare for your transition to university by checking out these other resources as well.
What events are there for students?
Hearing about events the university organizes and what options would be available to you as a potential student can help you visualize yourself on campus, which could be beneficial in figuring out if this is the right fit for you or not.
There will be tons of sports games, concerts, special lectures, trivia nights, events in residence or at on-campus pubs, prof-student mixer events... Universities are like small cities so there are always things going on.
What safety measures are there on campus?
Whether you ask or your parent asks, this is a good question to put everyone’s minds at ease. It’s important to know what kind of security is available. Are there shuttles after dark? Is the campus well lit? Are there campus police patrolling buildings? How are residences secured? How has the university responded to COVID-19 to keep students safe?
No matter which universities you visit, it's important that you ask any and all questions you have.
What kind of support is available?
University is a transition, both academically and otherwise. Knowing about the student services available is always a source of reassurance if you ever need them in the future. Whether that's seeing a doctor, nurse, or counsellor; getting career advice; attending social events in residence; talking to an advisor about choosing courses; or attending job search workshops, there's an incredible range of services to help.
And think about living in residence. Sometimes these support services come right to you such as tutoring and other supports in residence.
Lastly, why did YOU choose to study here?
It’s almost guaranteed that your tour guide is either a current student or graduate of the university you’re touring. Find out why they chose the school, they may have insights you can’t find online.
No matter which universities you visit, it's important that you ask any and all questions you have. So don’t be shy and make sure to have a list of things to ask on the go!