Choosing a university can be daunting, especially during a pandemic when travel is more difficult than ever. Last year, I was one of those students who couldn’t visit many of the schools I was interested in, so I know how you’re feeling. But don’t worry! Even though you might not be able to come to Halifax in person, there are still plenty of ways to learn about Dalhousie from home and find out if it's the right fit for you.
Attend a virtual open house
You don’t need to be on campus to attend an open house since Dal hosts virtual Open Houses in November and February. Going to one of these can be so helpful for learning about the school, since the Dal website can only give you so much information. They're an opportunity to learn about faculties and programs as well as chat with current students and staff. Attending a virtual Open House will really give you a feel of what it's like to go to Dal.
If you missed the November Open House, you can access an archive of it here.
Take a virtual tour
In addition to Virtual Open Houses, you can also take a virtual tour of Dalhousie. This is one of the most important things you should do when trying to find the school that best suits you. I was lucky enough to squeeze in an in-person tour before the pandemic, but if you can’t easily visit right now, the virtual tour is still great. Click through it to learn about different places on campus and access 360º views inside the key buildings where you’ll likely spend a lot of your time.
There are also guided virtual tours offered on Wednesdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 1pm (AST). Campus life is so important in a university experience, so I would highly recommend taking this tour!
Explore on Google Earth
One of the things I found helpful while exploring universities at home was Google Earth. The virtual tour is great for learning about buildings and classrooms, but walking around on Google Earth helps you really orient yourself around campus. Plus, snooping around the different streets and neighborhoods can give you an idea not only of what it’s like to go to Dal, but also what it’s like to live in Halifax.
Talk to your family and friends
Since Dalhousie is a well-known school with a great reputation, odds are you know someone who knows something about it. Speaking with those people can be so valuable because not only do they know the school, but they also know you. They can talk about how they found their experience and how you specifically would fit in at Dal. I relied on this when I was going through the decision process. My cousin went to King’s, and hearing her stories really got me excited about the prospect of coming to Dal.
Get more outside perspectives
The more people you hear from, the more informed you will be. Go online and do research beyond the school’s resources. Find opinions and perspectives from people who have no stake in your decision, since they might end up being the most honest. It never hurts to get more information!