East Coast Best Coast?
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Eastern Canada; a beautiful place known as the Maritimes. Canadians don’t get any friendlier than those in the Maritimes. I heard so much about Nova Scotia prior to my trip, about its beauty and aura of friendliness. We went to Halifax because my dad had worked there and I was going for a tour of Dalhousie University, however I ended up doing a lot more than that in my short four days there. Upon our arrival we drove through one of the main and oldest streets in Halifax, filled with century-old buildings, and the very original Bank of Nova Scotia. The streets were booming with Scottish Pubs and small traditional buildings that had so much character, you could almost envision a face. Dinner rolled along and I found myself doing something I typically don’t do; eat seafood! With the 30 loud university boys behind us, and the new immigrants trying their luck with English on our right, I felt like this is was the most Canadian place I could possibly be. All four days my dad and I walked along the boardwalk, it looked out onto the water filled with wharfs and large sailboats, and little pop-up shops and markets along the way. Now I’m a big city girl at heart, and prior to visiting Halifax, I didn’t think it was possible for me to fall in love with such a small populated city compared to that of my birthplace or where I currently reside (Toronto and Vancouver). However, I was completely taken aback when every day I’d find more and more hidden gems of Halifax. From an upbeat beer garden to a beautiful city garden that made me feel like I was in Europe. Every passing day was a few more strangers I smiled to, and more realisation of how amazing this small city truly is. I urge everyone to keep an open mind when visiting a new place in your own city, or traveling somewhere else. You never know what you may learn about yourself, or what you may find.
Tips for University or College Tours
In my trip to Halifax I had the awesome opportunity of touring Dalhousie University. I had a super friendly tour guide that made the experience even better. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned for touring University!
1. Be prepared with questions, engage in conversation.
You will regret not asking some of the urging questions that popped into your head. If you have questions about sororities or fraternities, you will get a different perspective on the topic from a student who goes there, than that of the admission staff.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask personal questions to your tour guide, often times they aren’t part of the admission process.
My cousin is a tour guide at UCLA and he often tells me that many people that he tours think that he is part of the admission process, so they suck up to him and try to sound intelligent. Please do not do this, you will end up wasting your time, and refraining yourself from asking good questions because you’re worried about what your tour guide will think. Ask away!!
3. Have an open mind! Be willing to picture yourself in certain settings.
Just because you pass a library that seems depressing, or some of the cafeteria food doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t have a narrow mind about the rest of the tour. You will most likely find one thing at every university or college that you aren’t completely fond of.
4. Do your research, ask questions like “Is there on-campus tutoring offered at all times?” and “Does the university offer counselors or advisors if I’m having any troubles” or “What kinds of meal plans are offered”
It is so important to ask these questions! Yes most schools have websites and viewbooks, but there is nothing more insightful than talking personally to a student that attends the school.
5.Ask questions and think about residences! What types of rooms are offered (Traditional, Suite, Appt, etc)
If you reside on campus, your dorm is your house! Know your options, such as types of rooms, and types of residences (all girls, all boys, all genders, certain religion, etc). It’s also a good idea to inquire about residence pricing if you’re on a budget.
6. Enter the number/email on the business card or contact of whomever you receive onto your phone.
Keeping in touch with someone in admissions or your tour guide can be so useful for when it’s time to apply or if you have any further important questions. Plus, I’d be super impressed if you could hang on to a business card for more than a few months!
7. Think or ask about clubs, sports teams, intramurals, organizations, or ways that you would be able to get involved.
I know that not everyone is busting at the seems with school spirit, however a lot us like to feel like we “belong”. If you are someone who is super shy and reserved and you need a setting like a book club in order to make close friends and be happy, it would be a smart idea to ask what kinds of clubs are offered.
8. Arrive early! School parking on many campuses is limited and campuses are large.
Make a good first impression. Arrive early because parking is typically limited, and some campuses are quite large so it may be hard to locate where you are supposed to meet.
9. Dress appropriately.
Most people know not to show up in a low cut crop top with cut-off shorts, but it’s also nice not to look grubby either. Regardless of whether the tour guide gets paid or is volunteering, they are still putting in the time and effort to make you feel comfortable and enjoy your tour, so be mindful of how you dress.