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Take a virtual university tour

Many universities provide virtual tours of their grounds and facilities. Find out how a virtual tour can help you choose the right university.

OK, so a virtual tour isn’t the same as visiting a university in the flesh- for starters you can’t ask questions or explore off the beaten track.

Nevertheless, it’s a good starting point if you need to draw up a university shortlist. You can then visit the ones you’ve shortlisted and put the important questions to them.

What is a virtual tour?

Virtual tours can be accessed from a university’s website and are designed to give you an overview of the university campus, without having to go there in person.

Depending on the website’s technology, you should be able to get a colour 360 degree view of the main facilities. If you’re lucky, you may even get a running commentary.

When you take a virtual tour of a university, remember to write down any questions or observations- don’t rely on your memory.

Your observations will play a crucial role in narrowing down your choices and you can always put your questions to the university later on if you visit the campus in person.

What should I look for in a virtual tour?

  • Look at the condition of buildings and facilities such as the library and lecture halls. This is may be a good indicator of a university’s financial status.
  • Layout. Using a campus map and virtual guide, look at the distance between halls of residence and the department you’re interested in. Are you happy with the proximity?
  • What’s the local area like? If the university is set in a nice area, virtual tours will be happy to promote this with shots of local sights.
  • Are there any shops, cafes or bars on campus? These sorts of places are important for buying bits and pieces and meeting up with friends.
  • Are there any unusual features that make this university stand out? Perhaps the uni has a picture gallery, small museum or facilities that give it the extra edge.
  • Does it tell you anything about the extra curricular events such as clubs and societies?
  • If you can, look at the halls of residence and a typical student room. Is this somewhere you could live?
  • Remember, you only see what the university wants you to. There won’t always be a bright sun and blue sky over the campus as there was in the virtual tour. Just as there may be less attractive parts of the campus the tour didn’t show you.

See some virtual uni tour examples:

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