Tour Tips from an Ambassador

by Negin Rezazad, Student Admissions Ambassador
Hi everyone! My name is Negin and I am a rising senior here at VCU majoring in Public Relations. As one of VCU’s Student Admissions Ambassadors, my job is to tell you all about what VCU has to offer and show you around campus. The tours I lead start at VCU’s Welcome Center right after the information session with one of VCU’s admissions counselors. From my experience as an ambassador, I have a few recommendations on how to make your tour of VCU as informative and comfortable as possible.
1. Be Prepared. I suggest you bring a water bottle and comfortable shoes to wear for the tour. There will be time to use the restroom after your information session and right before the tour, where you can ask the admissions counselor any last minute questions. Walking around outside can be a little tiring sometimes so we try to prepare you for it as much as we can.
2. Try VCU’s Dining. The tour lasts approximately an hour, and by the time the last stop rolls around many people are ready to eat. Students have the option of trying out our very own Shafer Court Dining Center, which is the main dining place on campus. If that is not something you’re interested in, there are lots of other restaurants within close vicinity – keep your eye out for them!
3. Take Pictures. Bringing a camera to take pictures is also a great idea. Remembering what the campus looks like can be hard if you’re looking at multiple schools. Pictures can remind you of certain things you liked about VCU and definitely give you a sense of the unique area, as well as its current students.
4. Ask Questions. I try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge, but just in case, you will get another chance to speak with an admissions counselor at the end of the tour. I definitely recommend taking the tour because it gives you a first-hand look of all that VCU has to offer. Some things need to be experienced in person which is where VCU’s ambassadors come in!
I really look forward to meeting all of you! For more information about VCU’s Campus Tours, please visit the following website: http://www.ugrad.vcu.edu/visitvcu/index.html

More on the Campus Tour

by Katherine Beck, admissions counselor
As mentioned in our blog last week, campus tours are a crucial part of the college selection process. But there’s so much more you might be able to do beyond that.
Are you interested in a particular program? How can you find out more about it? Does that program make appointments with students and their families? Here at VCU, we have special sessions offered by the School of the Arts, Business and Nursing, as well as the Honors College and the Global Education Office (Study Abroad). Take advantage of the different opportunities available so that you can totally immerse yourself in the college you are visiting.
Beyond what is offered, do a little bit of exploring on your own. Stroll through the campus and even into some of the buildings. Take a look at the bulletin boards to see what is going on campus. Even go beyond the campus and check out the surrounding areas. For example, those who come to visit VCU are often recommended to go check out Carytown, Belle Isle or anything of the other things there are to do in and around Richmond. Remember, you’ll not only be studying wherever you attend, but you’ll be living there for four years.
Come prepared with questions for the tour guides and student ambassadors. You can even ask students that you see in the dining hall or the student center about their experience and for recommendations. It may seem silly, but trust us, students who are enjoying their experience are happy to share their stories.
Most importantly, have fun! Think of these visits as a chance to view all of the opportunities that could be right at your finger tips. You never know – you could be viewing what could be your new home!
Check back soon for tour tips from one of our Student Admissions Ambassadors.

Campus Visit to VCU

by Katherine Beck, admissions counselor
Since many of you will make visits to colleges over the summer, we decided that it may be helpful to give you some idea about what to expect when it comes to VCU’s campus tour. Undoubtedly, the campus visit is one of the most important parts of your college selection process. How can you know if a school is the right fit for you until you experience it yourself? It’s important to get a sense of the energy around a campus and see everything with your own two eyes.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions offers a daily scheduled information session and campus tour that runs each week from Monday through Saturday (except holidays and holiday weekends). Information sessions and tours start at VCU’s Welcome Center at 10:30 a.m. One of our admissions counselors hosts the sessions, which includes a general introduction to VCU, advice about the application process and information about student life. Following the information session, some of VCU’s Student Admissions Ambassadors lead campus tours of the Monroe Park Campus, which is our main academic campus. The tour is about an hour long and passes some of VCU’s residence halls, academic buildings and even lets guests take a sneak-peak into the Cary Street Gym.
Make sure to check back with the blog in the upcoming week to get advice from admissions counselors and student ambassadors on how to make the most of your campus visit!

David’s Thoughts on New Student Orientation

David Belton, a recent graduate of VCU, has been involved with New Student Orientation (NSO) for the past two years. As a Residence Orientation Manager, David interacts with the new students after their scheduled day of events is over and they have a chance to relax, meet and mingle back at the residence halls. David’s biggest piece of advice to students coming for NSO? Come with an open mind and make an effort to go outside of your comfort zone. If you are coming with other friends from high school, make it a point to meet people from other places! For many students, VCU’s diversity is part of what drew them to the university, so start exploring all of the different types of people and personalities right away. Since a huge part of NSO is meeting with an advisor and creating the student’s fall schedule, David also encourages incoming freshman to really think about class preferences – would they rather have morning or afternoon classes, for example – before they arrive.
Above all, David encourages VCU’s newest class to remember that right now, everyone is in the same boat! Everyone is coming to a brand new place for a brand new experience. There are a lot of people to meet and NSO is the perfect time to start making new friends.
We hope your enjoy your NSO experience! Welcome to VCU!

New Student Orientation

This past Monday kicked off the first day of New Student Orientation (NSO) for our brand new Rams! Over the summer, students in the incoming fall class will make their way to campus to attend an orientation session. NSO serves as each student’s formal welcome to VCU, where they will take care of important business like meeting with their academic advisor, selecting their fall classes and getting their student ID card. Orientation also allows students and their families to become better acquainted with the different departments and resources on campus. Not to mention, NSO gives students a chance to make new friends before classes even start in August. For freshmen, orientation is a two-day event where students stay in one of VCU’s Residence Halls, while transfer students come for one day only.
Check back tomorrow for advice on making the most of NSO from David Belton, one of the Residence Orientation Managers!

Weekend Festivals

by Katherine Beck, Admissions counselor
This past weekend was busy with several different festivals going on in the Richmond area. The 35th annual Greek Festival kicked off on Thursday and people from all over the area came to enjoy traditional Greek food, music and dance. While the crowds were huge, the souvlaki (grilled meat and vegetables), spanakopita (spinach and cheese pastry) and baklava (dessert pastry) were all worth the wait!
On Sunday, an estimated 35,000 Richmonders came out for the 4th annual Broad Appetit, an event that benefits the Central Virginia Food Bank. Sixty local restaurants from all over the city set up temporary shop on Broad Street. Festival goers could watch the local chefs in action and try a range of small plates, like buffalo shrimp and grits, fresh grilled corn and banana pudding, for just $3.00 each.
Events like these will continue to take place year-round in the Richmond area. To keep up with all of the city’s happenings, check out the following website:
Things to do in Richmond