Take a virtual campus tour
We live in the future. Think about it. Cars park themselves, robots vacuum our homes, and we carry computers in our pockets. The only thing missing is a hover board (you have until next year, Mattel!). So, why not use that technology to search for colleges? Unigo.com has thousands of student reviews — with pictures and videos from real students. Not those glossy university pamphlets with pristine plazas and idyllic dorm rooms. Learn what it’s really like from the students who go there. And, while you're exploring your next college from the comfort of your phone, here are some things to pay attention to.
In addition to exploring the resources available on Unigo, we recommend checking out CampusTours.com and YouVisit.com. These sites feature videos, photos, and even 360-degree virtual tours. And, there’s always the university’s website for even more information for prospective students, like event calendars, student newspapers, and on-campus dining options. When you’re doing your modern research, be sure to take note of these old-school benchmarks.
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Probably one of THE most important things to check out is your living space. Be sure to check out floor plans, eligibility, and restrictions for on- and off-campus housing options. Are amenities important to you? Do you need to be close to public transportation? Are there limitations on what’s available to incoming freshmen? You can probably get all these questions answered online — saving you a trip to the campus.
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Look into the dining options available, especially if you have food allergies or special dietary needs. Checking out the meal plans ahead of time can help you decide if it’s a good choice. Consider yourself a foodie? Look up nearby restaurants and favorite local spots on Spoon University, Yelp, and Zomato.
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All work and no play … well, you know the rest. While going to class and studying will be super important in college, so will be taking a break. You’ll probably find a pool or gym at a university, but colleges are really stepping up their game in the rec department. Check out what entertainment the school has to offer. You may be surprised to find things like eco-adventure tours, rock climbing, lazy rivers, bowling alleys, and much more. You can also find event calendars on the school’s website to get an idea of student activities and local happenings.
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A great way to meet students and make new friends is to explore campus clubs and organizations. Browse the club’s website or social media channels. Sometimes, knowing that you have a place to fit in on campus is a big step towards making a decision.
Virtual Campus Tour vs. IRL
While virtual campus tours can be great, there's no replacement for seeing something in real life (until Google completes the Matrix). So, use your winter break to digitally narrow down a few places to physically visit in the spring. Road trip! The future is awesome — and it’s just going to get awesomer in college.