You want the best school for your child; every parent does. But with the plethora of choices out there — public vs. private; secular vs. religious, boarding vs. day school, all-girls, all-boys, or coed, specialty vs. traditional — how on earth can you possibly visit them all? Brochures and websites are a good start, but the internet gives you a distinct advantage beyond a static website: a virtual campus tour.
For example, in just 30 seconds, this featured video produced by Delphian School draws you in, with captivating imagery and engaging voiceover. It’s hard to resist a video that begins, “Imagine a school where classrooms don’t need walls (visual of students exploring on a nature walk), where your voice is heard, and opportunities are endless” (accompanying visuals of a student with a telescope, and another jumping hurdles on the track team.)
A virtual campus tour like this immediately captivates the viewer and invites you to learn more. What’s brilliant about the Delphian School campus tour is that it captures the essence of what it’s like to attend Delphian — in half a minute.
Maximizing Your Virtual Campus Tour Experience
How can you make sure you get the most out of your virtual campus tours? Be organized and inquisitive.
While many virtual tours are recorded videos, many schools may offer live video tours that allow prospective students and their families to ask questions as a docent guides them around campus.
Here are some of the categories you’ll want to explore on a live virtual campus tour:
· Is the location rural, urban, or some combination of the two? (For instance, a verdant campus in the midst of a city.)
· Is it safe to walk around at night? What kinds of protective measures does the school provide?
· Is public transit available, or is there campus transport to town and back?
· Are classes primarily lecture, discussion — or experiential?
· How many students are enrolled in the average class?
· Are students able to work directly with teachers on independent study projects or internships?
· Are certain courses required for graduation?
· How many students live in each dorm?
· Are all rooms shared or is it possible to have a private room?
· What’s the dining hall food like? Can the school accommodate special dietary needs?
· Is there a strong emphasis on extracurriculars? Is the school known for a particular activity (for example, football or music)?
· Are sports a big part of campus life?
· If your child is focused on a specific activity, be sure to ask whether this is available at the school and the degree of attention it receives.
Attend a Virtual Open House
In addition to taking a virtual campus tour, consider participating in a virtual open house, which is typically an interactive information session that allows you to ask whatever you want to know — especially helpful if the virtual tour is recorded rather than live.
A virtual open house will usually include a staff person from the admissions office, several current students, and potentially, a teacher or two.
Talking with students is an ideal way to get a real sense of campus life. Most students love talking about their school experiences and will be delighted to answer your questions. Not only does it make them feel good to be helpful — they remember being in your shoes!
You can also ask about day-in-the-life vlogs. This is the device age, and everything is fodder for recording. You can look on YouTube for vlogs at schools that interest you if students don’t offer them directly. You may learn so much about dorm life and cafeteria food that you’ll feel you’re already enrolled at the school — or decide it’s not the perfect fit for you.
Happy virtual touring. The right school is just around the corner on your smart screen.