215 East Bay Street, Suite 401
Charleston, SC 29401 USA
How is College Visits different from other tours?
Unlike most other tours, we do not simply visit college campuses. Having had long term relationships with admission officers at each college enables us to arrange private tours and information sessions specifically for our participants. We also conduct daily sessions on college selections and the application process to complement the visits. In order to give students a complete picture of what their college experience might be like we tour the college’s neighborhoods and the cities attractions.
What suggestions do you have if I am concerned about my child travelling alone?
Even if a student travels alone we assure you that College Visits tour leaders will be at the airport to meet students upon their arrival. All participants easily bond with the counselors and other students while discussing college options, at dinner and evening activities.
My child has allergies and/or takes medication. What should I know about this?
Once a student is confirmed as a participant, we will contact parents for information about medical conditions/concerns. If you have specific questions, please contact us.
How much spending money should my child bring?
All expenses for transportation, hotels and meals are included in the tour fee. Students should bring an adequate amount of money for snacks, souvenirs and other discretionary spending. Participants are responsible for their own spending money.
May parents go along on the tour?
We do offer a limited number of spaces for adults (counselors and parents) to join most of the tours listed on our website. When registering for a college tour please contact us to find out if spaces are available.
How will students meet up with tour leaders at the airport?
We ask that participants provide College Visits with their detailed flight itinerary. The tour leaders will meet participants at a pre-designated location at the airport.
What are the transportation arrangements?
All of our tours use reputable, well-established tour bus companies. Buses range in size depending on the tour from 20 passenger coaches to luxury 60 seat coaches. All coaches have air conditioning, TVs and DVD players, GPS navigational system and most have bathrooms and internet access. We want students to be comfortable as we spend considerable time on the buses traveling between the various destinations.
Where will students eat meals?
Breakfasts take place at the hotels we are staying. For lunch, we often eat in the dining halls of the college campuses that we visit to give students a sense of that aspect of college life. Other times, we eat lunch on the road as we travel to our next destination. Most dinners are in restaurants near campuses or on the way to our accommodations.
Where will students stay?
College Visits participants stay in mid and upper mid-range hotels such as the Hilton, Marriott group of hotels, and other boutique hotels. Because of the intense nature of the tours, we recognize that students want to be comfortable. Also, as safety is our primary concern, we choose hotels that have first-class security. Accommodations are normally 2 students per room (same sex).
How can I contact my child or the tour leaders during the trip?
Students are welcome to bring their mobile phones. Please verify with your mobile carrier that roaming is possible in the United States. Families can also buy prepaid SIM cards in the destination country. College Visits will provide families with the tour leaders’ mobile phone numbers as well as contact information for each hotel. Occasionally, tour leaders may be unable to take a call immediately if engaged in leading activities. However, you can leave a voicemail message and they will return your call as soon as possible. You will also be able to reach the tour leaders by email or SMS.
Will students be able to leave group on their own?
Participants have limited free time during the tour because of our busy schedule. Every day, we are either visiting colleges, traveling, eating, or participating in evening sessions. When the itinerary allows a little unscheduled time, students will be able to explore areas of interest for a specified period, under the guidance of tour leaders or only in groups. Students will have tour leaders’ phone numbers stored in their own mobile phones, and the leaders respond immediately to all calls when students are out in groups. The safety of the participants is the primary concern of our staff, and students are not allowed to engage in behavior that puts themselves or others at risk.
What procedures are in place in case of a medical emergency?
The tour directors carry a list of the closest available hospital/service at all times and they will contact parents in the event of any medical issue or hospital visit. The tour leaders on the trip are available 24 hours a day for any emergency.
May I visit a college that is not on the tour itinerary?
We have chosen a list of colleges to accommodate every type of student and occasionally a student will be able to visit another school upon previous agreement. If we are able to fit your desired school into the schedule we will make it happen! There are opportunities for private, individualized and family tours available through the College Visits Custom Tour program.
May I participate for only three or four days of the tour?
Due to demand, we prefer students commit to the full tour. We would like students to have a complete experience and obtain the maximum value for their investment. However, we have made exceptions in the past.
Will participation in this college tour improve students’ chances of being admitted to their chosen school?
US college admissions personnel know that when students invest time, money, and effort to visit a campus, they demonstrate serious interest in the college. At many schools this show of interest is a factor in the admissions decision. At the same time the chances of acceptance at a US college for a qualified student improves when an admissions officer is able to associate the memory of a person with his/her application. Finally, our evening seminars discussing the admission process and writing essays/personal statements, will assist students to complete a compelling application.
Will I need a visa?
All students are provided with a letter confirming their participation in the tour. Upon receipt of the letter, students should visit the US Embassy website in the country they live to learn the process for visa application. In most cases, this involves paying a fee at a designated bank and then calling the Embassy visa phone number on the website to arrange for an interview.
What should a student bring with them on a College Visits tour?
Students should bring a change of clothes for each overnight stay, as well as the usual toiletries, an umbrella, and any medication they might need. It is strongly advised that they bring comfortable walking shoes. Please note that although flip-flops may be a convenient option, they can become uncomfortable or, in some cases, fall apart from all of the walking on campuses. College Visits has experienced that many students like to visit college bookstores, where they can purchase t-shirts, mugs, hats, etc., so make sure they have enough money available to make those purchases.
How much time is spent at each school?
We typically visit two schools a day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) spending an average of 2.5 to 3 hours at each college.
Are there tours available year-round, not just during the Summer?
We plan tours throughout the year. A majority of tours held outside of the summer months are customized for specific high school groups. These tours sometimes become available for individuals to join. Please see the tour schedule on our website for all tours open to individuals!
How many chaperones supervise each tour?
College Visits staff and high school counselors accompany and supervise all tours. Our chaperone to student ratio for each trip is, on average, 1 chaperone to every 10 students. All students are given the cell phone numbers of the chaperones and stay in contact with them throughout the tour.
Is there a curfew?
College Visits does enforce a curfew at each hotel. Curfew times are subject to change based on travel times and are announced each evening.
What does "and / or" mean on the itinerary?
On an itinerary “or” designates a choice of schools while “and” indicates that two schools will be visited. For example:
o Fordham University, Pace University, Columbia University, or Barnard College. In this case, the participant would choose one of the four schools listed.
o Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In this example, the participant would visit both Duke and UNC Chapel Hill.