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My experience here has been really incredible, I have been able to immerse myself entirely in the culture and really get involved in the politics of my institution. ...
Meet Hallaamal Keir
at Occidental College
It is not necessary to visit a US university before you apply. As noted on the resource page, there are many chances to interact with US universities through College Day, websites, virtual tours and social media.
However, if it is possible financially, visiting the university campus would be a very beneficial step in your decision process. Actually visiting the campus will give you a real sense of the atmosphere of the university’s academic programmes, fellow students, faculty, student life, local area, and more!
Before you visit, make sure to contact the university to find out when official campus tours are offered. Although you can do a self-guided tour on open campuses, an official tour will allow you to meet staff and students and give you a genuine feel of the campus. Some universities will require you to pre-register for the tours, and many offer tours at specific times and days of the week. Contact the Office of Admission and the Office of International Student Services to learn more about the possibilities for your campus visit.
Your main goal during this campus visit is to get a true sense of the classroom setting and campus life. Therefore, be observant! See how students interact with each other and with their professors. Each university has its own persona and atmosphere. Consider the fact that you will be living there for an extended amount of time. Can you actually picture yourself as a student on this campus? Will you feel comfortable there? Could it ever feel like home?
Taking an official campus tour will provide you with an overview of the university, what it can offer you and how you would fit in with the campus community. It also provides a chance to learn about aspects of the university that are not covered on the website. Some schools offer different types of tours throughout the day that focus on specific aspects of the university like the dorms, academics, library and campus life in order to provide more detailed information to prospective students. Make sure you are aware of all the different tour and activity options offered during your visit so that you can make the most out of your time there. See below for a checklist for your visit.
If it isn't part of the campus tour, you will want to visit the Admissions Office and the International Student Services Office. Use this time to find out more about admission requirements. Come prepared with questions not easily found on the university’s website.
Also visit the Financial Aid Office to learn more about scholarships and funding offered by the university for international students. Make sure to do some research first so that you will have questions prepared. Ask about the estimated cost of attendance.
While the campus tour provides a great overview, these options listed below will take your campus visit to the next level. They provide great ways to learn all the specifics about the university’s academic setting and campus life. Before you go, check to see if any of these are possibilities on the campus you are visiting.
Campus Life In-depth:
Now it is time to reflect on your visit. Key question to consider: Is this campus/town a place where you can see yourself living for four years?
You also want to reflect on:
Housing and Residential Life: