Is it necessary to visit US college campuses in summer?

China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-26 07:53

Is it necessary to visit US college campuses in summer?

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Visiting college campuses in the summer is a common way for high school students in the United States to get to know different colleges and be better prepared for the college application process. Now, more Chinese faces are appearing in these US college tour groups.

In 2016, Chinese students accounted for 31.5 percent of international students in the US, according to the Institute of International Education, a US-based nonprofit that focuses on international student exchange and support.

The number of Chinese high school students applying to US colleges is increasing, and more of them have begun to consider visiting colleges to decide which ones they will apply to.

Going to a college campus in the summer enables students to see campus facilities and talk to admission officers. It is also an opportunity for students to experience the campus environment and decide which college is the best fit.

Visiting multiple colleges allows students to compare advantages and disadvantages, and know better what kind of college they want to go to.

Yet there are concerns over whether it is a good idea for Chinese students to travel to the US to visit colleges. The trip is costly and time-consuming and the information students ultimately get may not be worth the cost.

So, is it really necessary for Chinese students to visit US college campuses in the summer?


It's an effective way to get to know colleges and their communities in a relaxed manner.

1. Students have more time in summer, so they can visit various college campuses at a more comfortable pace. They can spend more time on each campus, and get to know more about the campus environment and community.

2. College admission officers and faculty members are generally more free during the summer. Visiting college campuses at this time allows students to talk to admission officers or faculty members, and ask questions about their application process and academic pursuits.

3. Students can get a clearer picture of how to prepare for the college application process. They will be less stressed in the last year of high school, when early stages of the application process will already have started in the fall.


Students may spend money yet not get a picture of the real campus during off season.

1. In summer, college campuses may either be empty or crowded with students attending summer programs. Either way, they do not resemble the usual atmosphere of colleges. If students visit at this time, they cannot get a sense of what the campus culture and student vibe are really like.

2. Colleges usually close some of their buildings during summer, so students do not see all the campus facilities. Also, construction on campuses usually take place in summer, limiting students' experience of the whole campus, and this may even harm their overall impression of a college.

3. Going to the US to visit colleges costs money, and most students need their parents to pay for the trip. Much of the information they get from college visits can be obtained from websites or college representatives holding meetings in China.

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