Researching Universities (Virtually)

SFU Reflecting Pool

Building a great list of universities (and programs) takes time, research, and a good deal of reflection. Springtime is normally a good time to start visiting campuses. This spring, not so much. A global pandemic has a way of complicating things.

All is not lost.  There are plenty of ways for you to start researching universities. In fact, each year tens of our students learn about their preferred universities without ever setting a foot on campuses. After all we live in the age of Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. There’s a wealth of online resources, many free. It’s now easier than ever to conduct your search from the comfort of your home.

So here are some suggested resources to help get you get started researching universities.

Have you been accepted to a university and are bummed that you can’t check out the campus?  You’ll also find these resources helpful.

Virtual Campus Tours: Many universities now offer virtual campus tours or campus videos on their websites. The easiest way to find these is to visit the campus tour section of your preferred university. Googling the “name of your preferred university/college” plus “virtual tours” works very well too. YouUniversityTV, CampusReel, UCAS Virtual Tours, and CampusTour.ca are third-party options.

Virtual University Events:  Admission offices devote significant resources to on campus events. Now that families are unable to visit in person, institutions are hosting them online. As you look through the campus tour section of websites, keep an eye out for a list of events.

Social Media: Universities and colleges know students spend a good deal of time online. Many have Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube profiles. Use these to learn more about them.

Admission Offices: Reach out to the staff person responsible for recruiting in your region. They’ll be happy to hear from you and may even invite you to connect with them online or in person when they next visit your neighbourhood. Speaking with them is a great way to demonstrate you’re serious about the school.

University websites: A great way to learn whether or not a university/college is a good fit is to research your preferred program(s). Usually you’ll find details under the “Academics” section. Look for curriculum and/or distribution requirements.  Detailed information on programs is usually available in the academic department webpages.

Interviews: Speak with current students at the universities/colleges on your list. Your school counselor – or personal connections –  may know recent graduates attending your preferred institutions.

VerveSmith helps students find schools, universities and programs that match their aspirations, and to develop an admissions application strategy. For additional help, contact us.