I’ve been a tour guide for the entire four years of my boarding school career, and I’ve met a lot of different types of prospective students. So when I say your tour does affect your admission to the school, I am saying it with decent authority.
You are visiting a school halfway around the world, and a student is giving up their free period for you. Please don’t waste it by just walking around the campus. Be active. Ask questions. Tell them your interests. Request to see any facilities you might like.
Tours are for you, evidently, to know more about what the school can give and visually understand the looks and life of the school’s students. To get the best tour experience, the tour guide needs to know the most about you. So if you know someone in the school, contact them to see if they or their friends can take you around. The tour guides can request to tour you. If not, make sure you tell them a lot about yourselves. A lot. Tours have a designated route, but they can always deviate and show/tell pretty much anything you want. You may even be able to meet teachers, coaches, and students who are pursuing your interest.
During the tour, pay attention to what you see and what the tour guide tells you. Oftentimes, these information are unique and can’t be found anywhere else. Hence, it could be valuable both to yourself and during the interview. Look closely at the facilities you are interested in. A hockey player? Ask to see the rink. Ask about when and how you can use it. A biology enthusiast? Ask about advanced classes like molecular biology. Go see the labs and equipment.
One last thing, make sure you become friendly with the tour guide. You secretly get evaluated by your tour guide. I mean, they fill out a form grading you on how active you were, your enthusiasm, your fit to the school community, and even a free paragraph on your impressions. So talk to them. Be friendly. And at the end, you can even say how you want to be evaluated. Tell them you really want to get in and any particular passion of yours. They will most likely write it down for you.
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