Summer in Philly includes BBQ Wednesdays at Joe’s Cafe on campus, free events at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Saturday information sessions and tours. Six days a week, my colleagues and I are happy to welcome hundreds of prospective students and their families to campus. With increased family time (generally) and great weather, summer days are ideal for road or plane trips to college campuses. To help you make the most of your upcoming visits, Penn’s On-Campus Programs staff put together 12 comprehensive tips. Today, I condense the suggestions to five.
1. Match online research with on-campus experiences.
Review the website of each school you anticipate visiting. Discover the academic programs offered, read student blogs, unpack campus culture and traditions, digest Admissions’ recommendations for your visit, and research the application process. Arrive on campus ready to engage and learn more about what matters most to you.
2. Start a conversation.
Students, faculty, and staff enjoy discussing their experiences and ongoing projects (From personal experience, I can attest to this). Learn how campus opportunities translate into significant personal breakthroughs.
3. Allow your interests to shine through.
Attend program-specific information sessions. Learn how your extracurricular interests might be supported on campus. Visit learning and cultural hubs of interest. At Penn, prospective students learn more about their fit with the University by attending an undergraduate school information session, participating in the Arts and Culture tour, or visiting one or more of Penn’s many hubs, such as the Kelly Writers House or the Weiss Tech House.
Include time in your day to discover campus on your own terms. Ask for a map and wander. Venture into the community beyond campus and engage with the resources available in this larger space.
5. Come ready with an open mind and open notebook.
Take advantage of any opportunities that arise at the last minute, such as a new exhibit at an on-campus museum or an additional student panel. Be flexible in your approach to weather, travel routes, and visitor volume. Record your observations. Identify what makes each campus exciting and vibrant to you.
Remember to put the 5 I’s and 4 C’s into conversation with the tips presented above. Enjoy time spent with family, on the road and on college campuses, as you continue to learn about your college options.