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In the past, Spring Break has been, well, a break. It has been a time of rest, reading and, of course, road trips, which often involve campus visits as students prepare to narrow their choices and make decisions about where to attend or apply in the fall.
We don’t have to tell you that this year things are different. Most, if not all, college campuses are closed for the remainder of the semester. Students won’t have the opportunity to attend in-person information sessions, meet their dream professors or interact with students in the dining hall. Luckily, many schools have been investing in the creation of virtual tours for years and there has been a swift movement to expand upon these resources since the COVID-19 crisis hit. Below, we highlight some schools whose tours will allow you to get a real feel for their surroundings, spirit and student body, all from the comfort of your couch.
Offering the perfect combination of rah-rah spirit and high-level academics, Duke University also features a sprawling, scenic campus that spans over 8,500 acres. It’s home to over 250 buildings, along with more than 7,000 acres of forest (studying under a shady tree > studying in your dorm room). The school’s virtual tour allows students to explore the iconic Duke Chapel, take a peek inside the Perkins/Bostock libraries (which feature incredible gothic-style architecture), and tour a freshman dorm. You can even “walk” the quad!
Go big or go home: The University of Maryland, College Park is home to over 40,000 students, and its campus has everything you could ever need (or want!). Case in point: There’s a McDonald’s *and* a seasonal farmer’s market, because #balance. Take a virtual tour to get a taste of what on-campus life is like. Explore one of the dining halls, view photographs of a lecture hall or a research lab, and end your virtual tour at McKeldin Mall, the center of campus.
Transport yourself to sunny SoCal without even leaving your house! While USC’s virtual tour is informative on its own, those who want to learn more about USC housing and residential life can watch these videos. The university is also currently offering several online events and information sessions during which students will have the opportunity to speak with current student ambassadors and ask questions.
Get a glimpse of this Ivy League institution’s state-of-the-art classrooms and resources. Penn’s virtual tour gives prospective students a 360-degree view of the iconic Philadelphia campus. Scroll through to explore The College of Arts and Sciences, peek inside a dorm room, grab a virtual bite at one of the dining halls, and admire the view from prestigious Wharton School. Take a virtual tour now.
Experience all that Georgetown University has to offer from the comfort of your couch. This esteemed institution’s virtual reality “walking” tour takes you all around the expansive 104-acre campus. You’ll also find several photos and videos of Georgetown students as they make their way around campus. Tip: When you get to the Student Living + Housing part of the tour, head to the video section, which features clips of four students giving tours of their dorm rooms.
Go Blue! The University of Michigan campus is full of camaraderie—both in real life, and virtually! The virtual tour, which was posted on YouTube on March 11, chronicles several UM students as they video record themselves going about their day-to-day. For more information on campus life, check out one of the University of Michigan student vlogs. Prospective students also have the option to register for a virtual information session.
While you may not be able to experience NYU’s bustling Big Apple campus in-person, the university’s easy-to-navigate virtual tour gives you an inside look at academic buildings, student center, dining halls and dorm rooms. Still have questions? Consider watching this pre-recorded virtual information session; the 44-minute video is led by Chelsea Duncan, NYU’s Associate Director of Admissions.
Lehigh’s virtual campus tour consists of 360-degree panoramic photos and videos. Make your way through the University Center (which is home to the Student Engagement Office, as well as a dining hall, a food court, and several other departments), the quad, and Rathbone Hall (known for their signature “chicken finger Fridays” — genius!). The tour also explores Farrington Square, which is located on the border of campus. Here, you’ll find several signature eateries (including a bagel store!), the university bookstore, a farmer’s market, and upperclassmen housing.
Syracuse University’s virtual tour is led by two alumns who take you all around the expansive campus, from the iconic Hall of Languages and castle-like Crouse College, to the popular Bird Library, which current students have affectionately dubbed “Club Bird”. Prospective students will also get an inside look at one of the university’s several residence halls and dining halls.
Learn everything there is to know about BU through the school’s compact (and incredibly detailed!) website. For example, if you’re interested in learning more about the College of Communication, simply click on the “Schools & Colleges” tab and research away. Additionally, each residence hall also has its own video, which provides a more holistic view of on-campus housing options. The virtual map is also incredibly helpful when it comes to getting a feel for how expansive the 169-acre campus actually is in real life.
University of Miami’s virtual tour starts at the Instagram-worthy “U” statue and takes you through the institution’s various schools and colleges. Take a few minutes to explore the University Center (two words: nap pods!) and the scenic Lakeside Patio. Prospective students also have the chance to peek inside a dorm room. After the tour, you may find it helpful to watch the information session video, which is led by a student ambassador.
While virtual tours are incredibly useful, they aren’t the only factor you should take into consideration before committing to a school. We recommend contacting an alum or current student so you can get a better feel for what campus life is actually like. If you don’t know an alum, you can also reach out to the school’s alumni relations department to see if they can connect you with someone who can help. Additionally, if you have any follow-up questions after completing the virtual tour, contact the school’s admissions office via phone or email. We guarantee they’ll be more than happy to assist and help you get to know the place at which you may very well spend your next four years.