Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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For students interested in health care, choosing the right college is crucial. Preparing for a career in medicine is a challenge as well as an adventure. The school you select will be the place you will live, learn, and work for some of the most important years of your life.

In the quest to find the perfect school, an essential yet often overlooked step is visiting the campus. This is the ultimate way to get a feel for a school, gather information, and find out if it is a good match for you. A virtual tour online is not enough to make the best and most accurate decision.

Here are four reasons why it is important to visit campus when you’re considering a degree in health care:

1. Visiting a campus will help answer your questions.

Reading about schools online is helpful to a certain extent, but sometimes there are questions that can’t be answered by a simple Google search or visiting the website. If you want to be fully informed about the program requirements, history, financial aid, admissions process, and culture of a school, taking a campus tour and talking face-to-face with students, staff, and faculty is the way to go.  Meeting with these individuals gives you the chance to ask in-depth questions and allows you to build a relationship early with the people who will help shape your success. U.S. News & World Report stresses the importance of talking to current students if you are planning to study medicine, because they can provide a candid picture of the daily life and educational quality of the specific school.

Students who visit National University during Campus Visit Day (offered twice a year at the IL campus and three times a year at the Florida campus) can tour the campus, watch engaging demonstrations, ask questions during student and alumni panels, visit with various student clubs that are of interest, and talk directly to admissions counselors, faculty, alumni, and current students.  These events are also an opportunity to bring friends and family along so you can benefit from their impressions and insight.

2. By visiting a campus, you’ll learn about the school’s specific teaching methods.

Teaching practices are especially important in health care programs. Does the school take a hands-on approach, use case studies, or engage in more of a traditional, lecture-based format? Taking a campus tour where you can experience a classroom lecture is a great way to evaluate the teaching practices of a school and to determine if these practices mesh with your own learning style and preferences.

By attending a Student for a Day event at NUHS , you can sit in on a class lecture, shadow an intern or clinician, and mingle with students and faculty members, in addition to touring the campus and facilities. Offered several times a month specifically for prospective students, this type of visit event provides an ideal opportunity to get more quality, one-on-one time with current students, faculty, and staff.  You can get all your questions answered and get first-hand experience of the university’s learning environment. Health care programs can be rigorous and challenging, so it is smart to make sure the school you choose enables you to learn to the best of your ability.

3. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the school’s resources.

Another important aspect to consider when choosing a school is the resources it makes available to its students. In order to gauge things like facilities, labs, equipment, and libraries, it helps to see them in person. Making sure the school provides you with the resources you need to become successful is a very important part of your education, especially in health care.

By visiting NUHS, you can explore the various academic resources and facilities the university offers. Some of these include a top-notch Gross anatomy lab , Whole Health Center (on-campus clinic) , Training and Assessment Center , Herbal Dispensary , Botanical Garden , Learning Resource Center , Anatomage Table , and the state-of-the-art Hydrotherapy Suite .  

Because you will be living on or close to campus for the next several years, it is also important to consider if the university offers convenient living options. National University’s Illinois campus offers on-campus housing that many students utilize.  These include studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom options where students can stay individually, with roommates, or with their families.  Those who desire to live off-campus have a variety of near-by housing options available.  NUHS also houses a fitness center, well-equipped with treadmills, stair climbers, exercise bikes, free weights, exercise balls, and other training tools.

If you’re not able to participate in a visit event, you can also schedule an individual tour with an admissions counselor to explore any or all of these resources and facilities in detail and tailor the campus tour completely to your needs.

4. Visiting campus will allow you to get a better feel for life on campus.

Experiencing the feel for campus and student life is one of the most important considerations when selecting a school, yet hardest to articulate and understand over phone or email. You want to choose a school where you feel comfortable and able to make use of the resources provided to you. In order to get the real feel for the campus atmosphere, physical environment, and student life, it is essential that you visit campus. This will enable you to get a good sense of the social environment and students’ passion and enthusiasm toward their program and the school itself. The faculty and staff also influence your overall experience, so it is important to make sure that you’re comfortable with them, too.

If the above reasons weren’t enough, touring a school can even yield financial rewards, such as the Summer Soak-Up visit incentive offered by NUHS between May and August. By participating in a Campus Visit Day, Student for a Day, or one-on-one individual visit in these summer months, you will receive double the tuition credit normally offered, toward your first trimester, in the program of your choice. That is $1,000 for all graduate programs and $500 for undergraduate and certificate programs. This, along with the other reasons above, should convince any prospective health care student to visit promising schools in-person before making that final decision!

Learn more about the benefits of visiting NUHS this summer!

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Posted by Teri Hatfield

Teri Hatfield is the Assistant Director of Admissions at National University. She grew up in a small town in south central Minnesota called Lonsdale before heading off to Wisconsin to Ripon College. Afterwards, she attended Olivet Nazarene University and earned her Master of Business Administration. One of her goals is to help students understand their next career choice.

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