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How to rock your school tour

How to rock your school tour

The search for a new school is a daunting task. After awhile, they all start to blend together, and every school seems just as great as the one before it. So how are you going to differentiate? Whether you are attending an Open House event or scheduling a personal tour, these are the best tips for getting the most out of your visit. 

DO YOUR RESEARCH

You only have so much time with your tour guide, and everyone else will also be asking questions. Do your homework and look up fast facts on the website. Questions about class size, student-to-teacher ratios, and school history can easily be found beforehand. And while these things will be reiterated during the tour, it’s best to be familiar with it already so you can focus on asking more subjective questions that can’t be found on the website.

HAVE MULTIPLE ANGLES

Take multiple people with you! Whoever’s available -- parents, siblings, friends -- they can all help get a more comprehensive perspective on the school. Maybe your sibling  picks up on how updated the athletic facilities are, and your parents notice how current students interact with each other. It’s helpful to debrief after, because while they were observing those aspects, you were paying attention to which extracirriculars are available and missed that.

KEEP OPTIONS OPEN

Learning and growing never stops, interests are constantly evolving. Ask questions about the departments and clubs you are most interested in, but pay attention to all of the opportunities. You never know what may change, and it’s good to have a sense of what is available before diving right in.

ASK SMART QUESTIONS

The best questions are open ended and unleading. Asking “What’s your favorite thing about Stuart?” is guaranteed to get a positive response. Asking “What’s your least favorite thing?” might not get you the desired or genuine response you want. Simply ask the same question with a lighter spin: What would most like to improve here, and why? 

TAKE NOTES, IMMEDIATELY

As much as you might think you will  remember every detail of your tour, you won’t. Before going to bed that night, take some time to write down your observations. What was the culture like? Do you feel like you could see yourself being happy there? You will  appreciate these notes later, when you have to make a decision.

10 GO-TO QUESTIONS TO GET THE FULL SCOOP

  1. What is the culture like? Are students competitive or collaborative with each other?
  2. How easy or difficult is it to make friends and find your circle?
  3. What is the best change on campus that you have seen in your time here, and why?
  4. If you could describe your experience here in three words, what would they be?
  5. What is a day in your life like here?
  6. How much do you rely on outside programs or activities to keep you occupied or make friends, and what are they?
  7. How long have most of your friends been here for?
  8. What is the workload like? Describe the types of assignments you get. Are they meaningful, or do you feel it’s busy work?
  9. What advice would you give to a new student?
  10. What would you improve most, and why?

Ready to schedule your tour? Contact admissions@stuartschool.org to get started. 

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