Plan your visit so that you can take a campus tour! Campus guides are well trained in the art of question-answering and backwards-walking, so take an official (rather than a self-guided) tour if you can. Can’t make it for an official tour time? With the UChicago Video Tour, you can watch UChicago tour guides on your smartphone as you tour campus at your own pace. Follow the route, and the videos will start automatically, or set your own course and pick which videos you’d like to watch.
Consider visiting over your spring or fall break, so you get to see the campus during the school year when things are in full swing, rather than during winter break or over the summer, when most campuses are much less busy.
Talk to as many current students as you can while on campus! A big part of finding your college home is finding the sort of people with whom you want to spend four years of your life.
Eat a meal at a dining hall. Enjoy the free lunch and see what you can expect cuisine-wise in your four years at school. If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, now is the time to see how students are accommodated.
Visit one of the many campus coffee shops. Coffee shops are some of the hottest spots on campus and are a great place to strike up a conversation with a current student—or just observe them in their natural habitat.
Visit a campus library. You can get a leg up on finding your favorite study spot on campus. You can get a pass for Regenstein and Mansueto Libraries in the admissions office after your tour. We’d also recommend visiting the third floor of Harper Memorial Library, one of the most beautiful study spaces on campus.
Sit in on a class! Academics are the main focus of college life. Check out what you can expect as a student. If you’re a high school senior or transfer student, inquire about visiting a class at the Admissions Office.
Interested in theater, music, dance, and the visual arts on campus? Visit the Logan Center for the Arts to see its state-of-the-art practice and performance spaces. You won’t visit it on your campus tour.
At the end of the day or week, take a moment to reflect on your visit. Write down some notes and observations on the things that still stand out after time has passed—things you liked, didn’t like, and questions that remain. Giving yourself some time to process and reflect helps draw out the features of the school that are really important to you, and putting these reflections into writing helps keep different schools you've visited from blending together. Future you will thank present you!