Campus Tours Cheat Sheet

Campus tours are a pivotal experience in your decision process as you pursue higher education. They’re your chance to walk the grounds of potential alma maters, giving you a glimpse into where you might spend some of the most transformative years of your life. It all begins with that first look, so let’s dive into some essential do’s and don’ts that will help you make the most out of your campus tour. 


Prepare for the Weather 

Checking the weather forecast and preparing accordingly ensures that you won't be distracted during your tour! Being comfortable and protected against the elements allows you to concentrate on the experience, rather than being too wet, hot, or cold. 

Bonus tip: It's also great to experience the weather of the school if it's in a different region, or otherwise far from home. Will you be alright in an environment that has much colder winters than you’re accustomed to? What about a location that packs more heat and humidity? Campus tours are a great way to find out! 

Wear Comfortable Shoes 

Given the amount of walking that’s typically involved on a campus tour, comfortable shoes are a must, as they will prevent sore feet and fatigue. That way, you’ll be able to explore extensively without discomfort – ensuring you get the most comprehensive view of campus possible. 

Engage Fully with the Tour Guide

Your tour guide will be a valuable resource for information not always found on flyers or in pamphlets. Asking questions and expressing genuine interest can lead to personalized anecdotes, enriching your understanding of the campus and its culture. 

Take Photos and Notes

Documenting your visit with photos and notes helps you remember specific details and your overall impression of campus. This is particularly helpful when you plan to tour multiple schools. Remember to keep track of what impacted you the most – good and bad. 

Visit Your Academic Departments of Interest 

Seeing the departments in the fields you’re interested in gives you an excellent sense of the academic environment, as well as what resources would be available to you as a student there. It’s also an opportunity to meet faculty—and potentially future classmates—painting a clear picture of where you’ll be spending a significant portion of your time. 

Stop by the Career Center 

Understanding the support the college offers towards internships, job placement, and career advice reveals how well the institution prepares its students for life after graduation. It is also a great indicator of how much the college values student success beyond academic achievement (and whether a degree from there will benefit you in your career). 

Check Out the Dorms 

Exploring the dorms will offer a glimpse into residential life, as well as help you gauge the quality of the living spaces, amenities and community atmosphere. It’s crucial for assessing your comfort and wellbeing as a potential student. 

Sample Campus Dining 

Dining on campus will give you an idea of the amount of care that goes into ensuring students receive delicious, nutritious, and diverse food options; the latter being particularly important if you have certain dietary needs that need accommodation.  Also, many campuses have popular chain locations on their grounds, but trust us—it’s important to check out what the college is putting on your table! 

Sit and Observe 

Taking a moment to sit and observe campus life can provide a sense of the student body’s overall demeanor, and the general atmosphere. This quiet reflection time can help you imagine yourself as part of the community. 

Keep an Open Mind 

You may believe you already know what college you want to attend, but approaching each campus tour with an open mind allows you to minimize your biases and fully absorb the unique qualities each college has to offer. In the end, it’s the best approach when it comes to deciding which college is truly the right fit for you. 


Spend the Whole Time on Your Phone 

It’s all in moderation! Phones are extremely useful for taking photos, making notes of your feelings, and digging deeper into aspects of the college you’re curious about while you’re there. Just make sure you aren’t missing out. 

Wear Another College’s Gear  

Not only can wearing gear from a different college come off as dismissive and somewhat rude, but it can make you appear disinterested. Opting for neutral attire shows that you’re eager to check out everything the campus has to offer. 

Forget to Check Out the Surrounding Area 

College campuses don’t exist in a bubble; they are often a part of a larger surrounding area. Check out the town! Does it suit your needs? Does it fit your vibe? Do you like the idea of living there for the next four years? Is there public transportation to make getting around town easy? There’s a lot to consider! 

Leave with Unanswered Questions 

Never leave a campus tour without getting all the information you were looking for. This is what the tours are for! Don’t be afraid to reach out and speak up—you may end up learning about something you didn’t realize was important to you. 

There you have it! A campus tour is more than a simple visit—it's an opportunity to envision your future, and these tips should help you discern whether a college feels like the right fit for you. Remember, the goal is to find a place where you will be challenged, supported, and empowered not only during your time there, but as you move into the workforce after graduation. Good luck! 

Asking the right questions and documenting your visit will be critical as you decide which college is right for you. Download our campus visit worksheet before you go! 

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