Avenues To Higher Education

Family Travel Provides a Great Opportunity to Visit Colleges

By Gwen Part on July 20, 2017

Girl Looking Out Plane Window

It’s summertime! That often means time for family travel. Why not take advantage of travel by visiting some local colleges and universities?

Below is a relevant article posted by U.S. News & World Report about how families can make the most out of summer trips. The article includes a helpful link to a list of 36 questions to ask during college visits.

Tips for Families to Plan Summer Trips With College Visits by Alexandra Pannoni

Admittedly, the above link is most relevant to families with students nearing college application age. However, families with children of all ages can enjoy college visits, even without taking college tours.

Should you visit a campus when some of your children are not yet in high school? What can your whole family enjoy when you visit colleges?

  • It is never too early to familiarize your children with the college environment. Familiarity breeds comfort, so share the experience of being on a college campus with your children.
  • Taking a campus tour is a comprehensive way to view a campus, but is certainly not the only way to get a feel for the campus.
    1. Have a picnic on campus. Do a little internet research ahead of your visit and find a beautiful place on campus to sit and eat. Or take the opportunity to chat with a student on campus and ask them where they like to spend their time outdoors on campus.
    2. Visit the student union. These are gathering places for students, so you can see how students spend some of their time and gauge the personality of the student body. Some student unions also have fun features, such as bowling alleys, hair salons, restaurants, and even movie theaters!
    3. Take in an event on campus. Before visiting, check out the campus’s event calendar for a sporting event or performance. Many events are open to the public and are often inexpensive or free.
    4. Window shop in the campus bookstore.
    5. Check out the main campus library. College students spend a significant amount of time studying for exams in their libraries. Is the campus library a comfortable place to study? How late does it stay open?
    6. Grab a beverage from a campus coffee shop.
    7. Ask a student about their favorite campus venue or their favorite view from campus and go check it out.
    8. Make sure to visit buildings or programs that coincide with your children’s interests. If your child loves art, visit a campus art gallery. If your child loves sports, tour the campus rec center or stadium.

Most importantly, enjoy your time together building new memories. Happy trails!