As a college tour guide, I of all people can tell you what to ask on a campus tour. Most of the time, when I give a tour no one asks me any questions. It’s okay, I didn’t ask any questions on my tour either because I didn’t want to be put on the spot or just really couldn’t think of any. However, asking questions on a tour can be crucial to helping you decide on a school or feel like you better understand things.
Why Should You Ask Questions?
In general, every college tour is structured to a wide audience. Us tour guides just inform you on what every person needs to know and some random facts to make the school sound interesting. In other words, tours aren’t personalized in anyway. By asking questions you can form the tour around you and what will assist you the most in your college years. After my college tours, I remember getting mad at myself for not asking questions which would have clarified a lot for me. Make a list of what you want to ask before hand, most questions may be answered on the tour however, a lot may not be. Keep a list so you get all the information you need.
What Should I ask on My Tour?
Questions about your Tour Guide’s Experiences
I have to say, I almost am never asked questions about my personal experience on campus. Which is absolutely crazy! By asking your tour guide about their experiences they can connect with you on a more personal level and can answer questions that you can’t find the answers to on a website or from a faculty member. Keep in mind some questions your tour guide won’t answer such as “do you party on the weekends” or “what’s the dating situation like”. They also may not be able to answer or fully confess to negative experiences they may have had because they don’t want to skew your view of the school.
-Why did you choose this school?
-What are you involved with on campus?
-How often do you go home?
-What is it like living in a dorm?
-How easy is it to make friends?
-What are the classes like?
-Any advice for me before I start?
-What is your opinion of the food?
-What would you change about the school?
-How did you choose your dorm?
-How did you choose your roommate?
-What do you do in your free time?
-Where do you like to go downtown?
Questions about the Classes
Classes are one of the most important parts of college! Most likely most questions about classes will be answered by your tour guide on the tour, but if not here are some examples.
-What is the average class size?
-Are classes taught by professors or graduate students & TAs?
-How easy is it to register for classes?
-In general would you say the classes are easy?
-Are there a lot of group work in classes?
-Are there any lecture halls?
-Do professors offer office hours?
-Do most classes give out a lot of homework?
-Do most classes require the use of a computer?
Questions about the Dorms
Questions about life outside of the classroom is also important. I only give campus tours, so any questions about housing I leave for the housing tour guides to answer. However, whoever you are talking to most tour guides can answer these questions.
-Are there any single, suite style, or double rooms?
-What isn’t allowed in the dorms?
-Are there quiet hours in the dorms?
-Are you allowed to cook in the dorms?
-Are you allowed to have guests over in the dorms?
-How many roommates do you have on average?
-Are the dorms split by gender?
-What is included in the dorms?
-What is it like having an RA?
Questions about the Area
Another big topic I never am asked about. As a tour guide I do talk about some things in the surrounding area, however I don’t cover everything. One girl asked me how many pizza shops are in the area because she loved pizza. Ask about the area! You may find out that your favorite Mexican restaurant is within walking distance!
-Are there any parks around here?
-What is within walking distance of campus?
-What kinds of restaurants are here?
-Are there any clothing stores nearby?
-Are there any grocery stores?
-Is there a movie theater?
-Is there a shuttle that takes you around town?
-What are some points of interest?
-Is there a bowling alley?
-Are there hotels?
-Whats a popular student hangout?
Questions about Campus Activities
On tours I try to explain everything that a student can be involved in on campus, however, I can’t get to everything in my 60 minute tour slot.
-What sports are offered here?
-Are sports games free for students?
-Are there any inter murals?
-What kind of clubs are on campus?
-What kind of events are held on campus?
-Are there any events held off campus?
-Are there activities on a regular basis?
-What kind of clubs do you have?
-What kind of activities are put on?
-Do a lot of people study abroad?
-What food options are offered?
-What dorms are popular?
-Where do most students study?
-Do a lot of people live on or off campus?
-How important is it to have a vehicle?
-What is the workout facility like?
-Is there a shuttle?
-Is campus empty on the weekends?
There are usually no stupid questions to ask on a campus tour. If you are curious about something chances are someone else is too. Write down some important things you need answered and get them answered on the college tour. Make sure to check out my blog post on what to not ask on a college tour!