Investing in your future through virtual tours

Introduction

The journey to higher education is a pivotal one, marked by crucial decisions that shape your future. Selecting the right college is a paramount choice as it sets the stage for your academic pursuits, personal growth, and career aspirations. In today’s digital age, technology has revolutionized the college selection process, making virtual tours an indispensable tool for prospective students. Virtual tours offer a unique opportunity to explore campuses, gain insights into student life, and make informed decisions from the comfort of your own home. In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits of choosing an American college based on virtual tours and provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this transformative experience. In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits of choosing an American college based on virtual tours and provide a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this transformative experience.

Picture of three students walking into college getting ready for new experiences

Picture of college campus in when school is back in session, freshmen have just arrived at their new school and will keep exploring.

Exploring Higher Education in the Digital Age: Leveraging Virtual Tours for College Selection

Many colleges offer virtual tours on their official websites. Explore these options first, as they provide an authentic and detailed representation of the campus. Additionally, there are third-party platforms dedicated to virtual campus tours, where you can find tours of various colleges compiled in one place. For those who are curious here are the different virtual tour platforms: https://www.terminalfour.com/blog/posts/. Navigating all these virtual tours can be rather difficult and intimidating, however momentum 360  makes it an easy process and has a page dedicated to helping students https://www.momentumvirtualtours.com/blog/virtual-college-tours/ .

The Virtual Advantage: Why Virtual Tours Matter in College Selection

Virtual tours offer a dynamic and interactive way to experience a college campus without the need for physical travel. By immersing yourself in the virtual tour, you gain a better understanding of the institution’s culture, infrastructure, and overall atmosphere.

I have compiled a list of most of the benefits one can expect from a virtual tour as well as provided a link to more:

  1. Convenience and Accessibility: Virtual tours eliminate geographical barriers, enabling you to explore colleges across the United States without the need for extensive travel. Virtual tours are particularly valuable for international students who may find it challenging to visit campuses in person. With a virtual tour, you can immerse yourself in the college’s environment, facilities, and culture.
  2. Time and Cost Efficiency: Traditional college visits entail substantial expenses related to travel, accommodation, and meals. Virtual tours dramatically reduce these costs, making it a cost-effective solution for discovering potential colleges. Moreover, you can explore multiple campuses in a single day, optimizing your time and facilitating a more comprehensive comparison.
  3. Comprehensive Insights: Virtual tours offer more than just a glimpse of the campus. Virtual tours often provide detailed views of classrooms, libraries, dormitories, recreational facilities, and even the surrounding neighborhoods. This depth of information enables you to evaluate whether a college aligns with your preferences and priorities.
  4. Personalized Experience: Many virtual tours are interactive, allowing you to customize your exploration. You can focus on areas that matter most to you, whether it’s academic buildings, sports facilities, or student hangouts. This personalized experience empowers you to make a well-informed decision based on your unique needs.
  5. Inclusive Representation: Virtual tours often showcase a diverse array of students and campus life, promoting inclusivity and helping you envision yourself as part of the college community. This representation is vital for understanding the institution’s culture and whether it resonates with your values.
  6. Ongoing Accessibility: Unlike in-person visits, virtual tours remain accessible at any time. You can revisit the  virtual tour whenever you need to refresh your memory or compare different colleges as you narrow down your choices.
  7. Go check out https://www.needmomentum.com/virtualtours for more virtual tour benefits.

picture of college class room with college students

College classroom with college students attending lecture.

Beyond the Brochure: Gaining Insight into Campus Life

Colleges always have very detailed websites with details regarding housing, academic buildings, professors, dining locations and other notable buildings. For example North western has an entire page dedicated to campus experience, https://www.northwestern.edu/campus-experience/ .However there is value in the virtual tour that simply doesn’t get from pictures or videos. The interactive interface allows the student to control the virtual tour and feel like they are discovering campus and able to have an accurate view of their potential school. Virtual tours bridge this gap by providing a realistic representation of the college environment. You can wander through dormitories, lecture halls, libraries, and recreational areas, absorbing the surroundings as if you were physically present. This level of engagement in virtual tours helps you envision yourself as a part of the campus community, contributing to a more authentic assessment of the college’s fit for you. A good example of how immersive virtual tours can be is the virtual tour for the lab at Pittsburgh university made by momentum 360, https://www.momentumvirtualtours.com/university-of-pittsburgh/.

Tailoring Your Search: How to Make the Most of Virtual Tours

  1. Create a Shortlist: Begin by researching colleges based on your academic interests, location preferences, and other factors. Once you have a list of potential institutions, explore their websites to locate virtual tour options.
  2. Immerse Yourself: During the virtual tour, take your time to explore each section thoroughly. Pay attention to details like campus architecture, classroom setups, available facilities, and recreational spaces.
  3. Ask Questions: Many virtual tours feature interactive elements, including chatbots or forums where you can ask questions. Use these features to gather information about specific programs, extracurricular activities, and campus services.
  4. Take Notes: Just as you would during an in-person campus visit, jot down your impressions, likes, and dislikes about each college. This will help you compare your experiences later.
  5. Supplement with Research: While virtual tours provide an immersive experience, they should complement your overall research strategy. Read student reviews, faculty profiles, and academic offerings to form a comprehensive perspective.

College library being used by many students. The library is a very important resource

Embracing Change: Navigating College Selection in a Post-Pandemic World

While the pandemic forced many colleges to offer virtual tours due to travel restrictions, this shift has opened up new possibilities for students globally. Virtual tours have democratized the college selection process, making it more accessible for international students and those facing financial constraints. 

As a recent highschool graduate I can attest to the pivotal role a simple virtual tour can have. I was an international student living in France when I decided to apply to US base colleges. I spent hours compiling a list of the top colleges and universities looking at all kinds of aspects ranging from academics, sports to social life and city. During this time what stood out to me the most were the colleges who accommodate international students just like me and included virtual tours to help us make informed decisions. Deciding where to spend the next four years of one life is a big enough decision on its own but when one factors in the price of college in the United States and the fact that these four years will most likely shape your future suddenly this decision’s magnitude is exponentially greater. Including virtual tours allows universities to cater to a greater pool of possible students and attract some of the smartest international students to a particular university. According to https://concept3d.com~70% of incoming college freshmen said they looked at their university’s virtual tour while they were enrolling in the school.

One of the universities I looked at was Carnegie Mellon, for reference here is their virtual tour: https://map.concept3d.com/?id=192#!bm/?sbc/?t/3266:1

Catering to international students is not the only reason to develop and offer a high quality virtual tour like the ones offered by momentum 360 https://www.momentumvirtualtours.com/ . If we look back at the past four years we were all faced with the pandemic which limited our ability to visit college. During the pandemic college campuses were restricted areas and many students during those years, unfortunately, were not able to visit their potential colleges. Suddenly students making this big decision without the classic campus tour didn’t seem so rare. The virtual tours are no longer a luxury for colleges but a necessity if they want to remain competitive among the other top schools in the country. 

Virtual tours can also be a way of determining if an in person tour is worth it, as mentioned by https://www.cappex.com/articles/match-and-fit/virtual-college-tours

Map of the world with a plane to demonstrate the international affect of virtual tours.

Conclusion:

Selecting an American college is a transformative decision that shapes your academic and personal journey. Virtual tours have revolutionized the college exploration process, providing a convenient, cost-effective, and immersive way to experience campuses from afar. By engaging with virtual tours, you gain invaluable insights into academic facilities, student life, and campus culture. Combine this experience with research, interactive sessions, and student interactions to make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations and values. Remember that while virtual tours offer a comprehensive view, they are one part of the decision-making process. Supplement your exploration with additional resources and engage with the college community to gain a holistic understanding. Armed with these tools, you are well-equipped to embark on your path toward higher education with confidence and clarity.

College graduation ceremony, throwing the caps in the air.