Are you applying to colleges soon? Is UCLA on your list? If so, you’ve chosen a terrific university to consider. UCLA offers students a fantastic education in a dynamic setting.
It’s a good idea to plan a trip to UCLA if you’re thinking about applying. Doing so will of course help you better understand whether it appeals to you. It will also give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the campus should you choose to attend. This simply makes being prepared to start college much easier.
Keep the following points in mind both when planning your visit, and during the visit itself. Doing so ensures you’ll make the most out of your trip.
What Prospective Students Visiting UCLA Should Keep in Mind
Consider a Campus Tour
Ideally, you’ll have the chance to spend a few days in the UCLA area while visiting. You want the freedom to explore the campus and surrounding neighborhood thoroughly.
(Be sure to check out our list of the best places to stay near UCLA if you’re planning on staying overnight!)
That said, while exploring the campus on your own is absolutely valuable, it’s also a good idea to participate in a campus tour if you have the opportunity to do so. For obvious reasons, familiarizing yourself with a new campus is much easier when your guide is someone who already knows all the ins-and-outs. Check the page on UCLA’s website to learn how to register for future tours.
Of course, you may end up planning to visit during a time when no tours are available. Don’t worry if this is the case. UCLA also offers prospective students a map specifically designed to facilitate self-guided campus tours. While a self-guided tour may not provide you with as much insight as one guided by a current student, it will certainly be more valuable than merely spending your entire visit aimlessly wandering.
Make a List of Questions
If you are able to secure a spot on one of the guided campus tours held throughout the year, you want to make sure you leverage this experience to its full potential. One way to do so is to prepare ahead of time by making a list of questions for your tour guide. Don’t hesitate to ask even questions that seem to touch on relatively minor topics. Whether you’re asking about something significant, like the nature of the social life on campus, or you’re simply asking how many machines dormitory laundry rooms typically have, it’s important that you take this opportunity to get the answers to any questions you may have. Addressing your questions is in fact part of your tour guide’s job.
Check Out Dining Options on Campus
When you apply to a college, it’s often the case that you’re considering where you’re going to be living for the next four years or so of your life. Thus, you likely are thinking about certain practical factors.
Food is one of them. Although everyone’s tastes are different, most people naturally want to feel confident they’ll enjoy the dining options available on their campus of choice. You don’t want to be stuck eating the same three meals throughout your entire college experience.
Luckily, UCLA is home to a range of restaurants, cafes, and quick-service spots. Check one or two out when you stop by, but be sure to confirm with the school which spots are open to non-students before deciding which you want to see. You’ll soon discover why UCLA has cultivated a reputation for offering some of the most impressive college dining options in the entire country. Additionally, because UCLA is based in a major city, the surrounding area is also packed with numerous restaurants.
Try the UCLA Lecture Experience
Spending time touring campus will of course provide you with a better sense of what the environment at UCLA is like on an average day. However, you don’t simply want to learn about the setting. You also want to learn about the overall student experience at UCLA.
Luckily, the college provides opportunities to do so. For instance, throughout the year, the UCLA Lecture Experience offers prospective students the chance to sit in on actual classes. These are not special guest lectures on niche topics; they are real classes with real students, taught by the very professors you may one day have if you attend UCLA in the future.
This is an important opportunity to take advantage of if you have the time. Quite simply, the academic experience can vary from one college to another. The general way in which classes are conducted at UCLA may be different from the way classes are conducted at universities with fewer students or more students. Because going to class will account for a substantial portion of your time in college, attending a class or two before actual enrolling is extremely valuable.
Prepare with a Virtual Tour
There is no substitute for actually visiting the campuses of any universities you’re thinking about applying to. This is as true at UCLA as it is anywhere else. That said, depending on your current circumstances, you may not be able to visit UCLA for another few months.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having more time to prepare can in fact be quite beneficial thanks to UCLA virtual tours. As you may have guessed, these allow you to “tour” the campus via your computer. It’s not the same as actually visiting, but again, it’s a helpful prep tool. Taking a virtual tour ahead of time helps you to get a basic sense of the campus layout. This allows you to explore it more easily, efficiently, and confidently when you do visit. That can be particularly helpful if you don’t have a substantial amount of time to check out every single corner of the campus.
Again, UCLA is one of the world’s most appealing universities. There are many good reasons you should consider applying here. Visiting the campus to see it for yourself will likely help you appreciate that fact to an even greater degree.