How to Make the Most of a Virtual College Tour

By Shanghai Family 2021-11-01 19:47:04

Concordia International Sschool shares some tips for managing virtual college visits

Choosing a college is a big decision not to be taken lightly, so the more a student learns about potential schools the better. 

When narrowing their list of best-fit colleges, students at Concordia Shanghai are advised by their high school counselors to weigh things such as an institution’s academic programs, activities and location against their individual goals and values. One of the best ways for students to gain insight into the type of learning environment that would best suit their academic and personal interests is through a campus tour. However, with international travel limited, in-person school tours have become difficult, if not impossible. 

Since the pandemic, universities have had to come up with creative ways to share the many aspects of the college experience and campus life with potential students. According to US News and World Report, “hundreds of schools now offer virtual tours, with options ranging from campus photos that users click through to elaborate options complete with student guides that show off facilities and introduce prospective applicants to peers.”


Students can access a school’s virtual tour via university websites or on sites like YouVisit or CampusTours, which allow students to customize their searches by school, location and even tuition amount. School counselors also have many useful resources for students and parents looking to learn more about virtual college tours. 

While virtual tours are a great way for students to familiarize themselves with the campus, they are really just a jumping-off point, a useful tool for researching aspects of the school. Students should learn as much as possible from the content provided on the tour, but they should also be prepared to dig deeper and follow up with the school’s admissions representative after their visit. 


Here are a few tips from Concordia Shanghai counselors for how to make the most of a virtual tour: 

Take Notes

When taking a virtual tour, students should be sure to jot down the things that standout to them, especially things that tally with their academic interests. When time to apply to the school, it is helpful to mention these things in any supplemental essays, as they give admissions officers a concrete example of what appeals to the student. 

Use Bookmarks and Screenshots

Taking a tour on a digital device allows students to bookmark, screenshot or screen-record any features they might want to easily refer to later. This will also help keep track of the most remarkable features from the various tours a student takes. 

Ask Questions 

Not all virtual college tours are set up to respond to student inquiries in real-time, so students should write down any questions that come up during a tour and direct them to the admissions officer at a later time. That being said, students should definitely reach out to university reps with specific questions they have about the school. 


It has been suggested that colleges view student visits as a clear demonstration of interest which they look favorably on when deciding admission. But how should students go about showing their interest under the present circumstances? 

According to Concordia Shanghai high school counselor Patrick Love, in advance of application season, colleges frequently run virtual campus visits and information sessions. “When students sign up for these virtual events, colleges normally track the student’s email address and high school info.” Mr Love recommends for students to always use their school email address as that is the address they will use when they apply to schools. 

Currently, many schools are offering one-on-one Zoom meetings to interested students who attend virtual visits. If a student is certain that they will apply to the school, these one-on-one meetings are a great way for a college admissions officer to get to know the student before they read their application. This is a good time, shares Mr. Love, for a student to ask admissions officers questions connected to any supplemental essays they are planning to write as part of their application. Using this method of questioning helps students to have a better understanding of how the college rep would like to see the supplemental question answered.

It’s only natural that students would lament not being able to visit college campuses in person. But in the absence of in-person visits, virtual tours are still giving students a view of life on campus and helping them gain a better understanding of what universities have to offer. 


Concordia International School Shanghai
Address: 999 Mingyue Road, Jinqiao, Pudong New Area
Tel: 5899 0380