Oberlin Blogs

Summer Visits

May 28, 2009

Elizabeth Houston ’06

It's warm, sunny, students graduated on Monday--it sounds like summer to me! That means it's time to start making summer travel plans! I've been thinking about planning my vacation, and many of you may be thinking about the possibility of visiting colleges over the summer as part of your vacation time. Is it worth visiting Oberlin over the summer? Is it better to visit during the school year? The answer to these questions will depend mostly on personal considerations, such as how visiting colleges fits into your family's schedule and budget. If the times you can visit campus don't match up with the best times to visit Oberlin, don't worry. Any visit will be more informative than no visit. Please also keep in mind that visits during the school year may not be much different from summer visits, if they fall during college break times (fall or spring break, or during Winter Term in January).

That being said, whether or not a summer visit is right for you really depends on what you expect to get out of your visit to Oberlin. If it's most important to you to interact with lots of students, attend classes, see the general vibe of campus life, and stay overnight in a dorm, summer is not the time for you. Oberlin does not have summer classes, and only a bare handful of students stick around for the summer to work on campus (including our Admissions Office tour guides). You may still want to visit campus over the summer, but be prepared to come back for a second visit during the school year to get the full flavor of campus life.

If you're coming to campus with the goal of going on a campus tour, attending an info session, having an interview, and talking to the admissions counselors, summer is a great time to visit. Not only are all of these things available during the summer, but we usually have fewer visitors and other obligations, and can give you our undivided attention. If you're a rising senior, please consider visiting on one of our Summer Interview Days, which occur on Fridays throughout July and August.

When planning your visit to campus, make sure to visit our campus visit website for more detailed information about what's available, and feel free to call our office if you have any additional questions. Keep in mind that our office is closed on weekends during the summer!

To re-cap, here's a short list of what you can and can't do during a visit to Oberlin over the summer:

--go on a tour
--have an interview
--attend an info session
--talk to admissions counselors
--see what the campus (and town) look like
--meet a student or two

--visit a class
--meet lots of students
--stay on campus overnight
--see the general vibe of campus life during the school year

If you're comfortable with the opportunities available to you during a summer visit, then come on down! We'll be happy to have you. If you'd rather wait until the school year to visit, that's okay, too--I'll look forward to seeing you on campus!

Responses to this Entry

I completely agree with Elizabeth that any visit is better than no visit. And certainly a summer visit can be instructive in all the ways she says. I just want to emphasize, though, that if you come in the summer you must realize that the impression you'll get will be totally different from what your college experience would be like. Oberlin in the summer is a quiet, sleepy place. Oberlin during the academic year is much more intense and lively--as a random sample of the blogs will make clear. I sometimes worry that prospies who visit in the summer will decide there's nothing to do here. That's why we have All Roads in April, so that accepted students can see for themselves what a fantastic experience Oberlin offers.

Posted by: David on May 28, 2009 10:05 PM

I also agree with Elizabeth. My first visit was in July. It was more of a drop-in curiosity itch. It was after 5:00 pm, and campus was definitely sleepy. But it was sunny and leafy, and there was a little concert in the gazebo in Tappan Square. Oberlin intrigued me enough to consider applying. When I came back for the real college visit, it was cold, rainy and a little bleak. But I had my July-image superimposed on all the sites shown on the rather breathless and rushed campus tour, and it reminded me that Oberlin was actually a pretty campus. And that night, the campus and town was so alive! Students and adults (professors? townies? who knew?) were out in force, walking and laughing in groups as they socialized en route to all the concerts, plays, lectures, art gallery exhibits, and parties that were taking place. These weren't activities planned specially for prospectives, either. It was just an ordinary weekend night at Oberlin. Having both visits gave a well-rounded image of the school.

Posted by: Faith on June 23, 2009 3:55 PM

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