Beginning in grade seven at St. Jude’s Academy, students embark on campus tours during the year for around four to five local universities, namely: the University of Toronto, Ryerson, Waterloo, and McMaster. This early exposure to university culture encourages students to become aware of their future options, begin thinking about what they would like to do in life, and gain valuable experience vising other cities. Because these campus tours occur during the school year, university classes are in session, thus providing our students with a realistic experience of undergraduate life. They witness the hub of college activity, faculty are on hand to answer questions, and most buildings are open for exploration.
At the University of Toronto Mississauga, our students participate in STEM competitions; at McMaster they witness DNA extractions; Ryerson offers robotics and application creation seminars; and at Waterloo our visiting students engage in chemistry and physics science labs. How cool is that?
It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of attending campus tours in general, but to experience university life at an earlier age is even better. University websites and brochures cannot compete with actual in-person visits, which truly reveal the culture and milieu of the university in question. You learn so much about student life, the food scene and meal plans, dormitory styles, academic resources. . . Campus tours provide a tangible reality to a student’s possibilities and are great for motivating children to begin thinking about their dreams for the future.
Please let me know in the comments, what was your best campus tour experience?