university virtual tours
Thanks to 360-degree university virtual tours, a prospective student can “visit” campuses anywhere in the world without leaving home, let alone cross a border. Source: Sam Yeh/AFP

Want to start uni in 2020 but don’t know how you can go for open days when there’s a coronavirus outbreak happening?

Enter university virtual tours.

Thanks to 360-degree campus virtual reality (VR) tours, a student from anywhere in the world can “visit” several foreign campuses in the multiple continents.

Thanks to the advances in technology, universities are now able to create virtual tours that can be access across mobile, desktop, and VR headsets. That means if you’re in Beijing, you can check out the most Insta-worthy spots in a university in Texas, US and feel as if you’re really there just by using your iPhone.

university virtual tours

Looking at universities abroad, but can’t travel yet? Good thing you can take global university virtual tours in your own backyard. Source: Torsten Blackwood/AFP

Some universities even develop their own apps for virtual tours, such as the University of North Carolina.

Thus, use your time in self-isolation to walk the halls of the world’s top institutions, check out facilities and activities (in HD), and speak to admissions counsellors on university websites.

Why take a virtual tour?

The potential of university virtual tours was pegged as early as 2012.

According to an ICEF report, “For prospective students, the digital format of virtual tours dovetails perfectly with their desire to have as much information as possible immediately available via the Internet. This is a crucial point, since in the initial stages of a college search most students cast their nets as widely as possible.”

Students get to experience being on multiple campuses before they narrow down their decision. This way, when you eventually do travel over to visit the country, you would have a shortlist of universities and get to further save on time and costs.

Plus, the entire family gets to “come along” on your preliminary tours.

university virtual tours

On university virtual tours, you get virtual reality without the headgear. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

What to look out for on university virtual tours

  • Classrooms and lecture halls — After all, this is where you will be spending most of your time learning. Check out the technology used in classrooms and safety measures on campus.
    Libraries, student rooms, and other shared spaces – Here’s where you will come to access academic resources including books and journals. It’s also where you’ll collaborate with coursemates and get projects done.
  • Extra-curricular facilities — Swimming pool, sports courts, and fields are not only important to the athletic student. The availability and maintenance of these spaces signify how committed the university is to taking care of students beyond academics.
  • Student accommodation — If provided the option, take a look at the campus hostels for an idea of what it will be like to live there. This will also help you figure out what you want or don’t want from student housing.
  • Nearby amenities — Are there places for you to find everyday supplies, food, and recreation nearby? What about international banks and places of worship? Look out for these in or around the university campus.

Ready to explore the world of university virtual tours? Check out this list of top UK universities to begin.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

5 questions to ask your university about if your course is disrupted

International students, here’s how to do online learning right