When to Visit a Program!

Applying to graduate programs is stressful enough, but the decision to visit a program or not definitely takes the cake!  I applied to three graduate programs, two of which I visited and one I did not. The school I did not visit was across the country and since I was already flying to the two other programs, I decided not to visit. However, I took advantage of grad fairs near my hometown and spoke with a number of programs that were there, including the school in California.  I developed relationships at the fair and maintained them throughout the application process and that helped me decided whether or not to visit the program. Here are a few tips that may make the decision to visit schools easier:

  1. Figure out your budget! If you are visiting a number of institutions where you have to fly or get a hotel, you definitely want to figure out how much money you are willing to spend.
  2. How important is the institution to you? I knew that IU was my top choice graduate program, so for me, it was imperative that I meet the faculty and the current students to make sure the school was a good fit for me.
  3. Can you see yourself living at the institution? Since I had never been to Indiana or any of the other school locations, I needed to make sure Bloomington was a place I could live for the next couple of years. Coming from a metropolitan area, I knew living in Bloomington would be an adjustment, but I needed to figure out how much of an adjustment it would be for me.  Visiting the school was the only way I would know if I could live in Bloomington.

These tips helped me make the decision to visit an institution easier. I hope they help you!