Everything seems to be available on a college’s website nowadays, so why should you bother making the trip to campus when it’s all a click away? 

The truth is, there’s nothing like experience. The school you liked on paper could end up coming in second to a college you might not have considered before a visit. 

While taking a tour of campus is always a great idea, nothing can give you a better idea of a college’s offerings than attending an Open House. Jam-packed with fun activities that showcase what the college culture and education are really like, Open Houses may just be the key to finding the perfect place for you. 

Whether you’re set on one college or you’re considering applying to a few, here’s why you should attend an open house: 

Make friends

Students hanging out in the Women’s and Gender Center. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

One of the most daunting parts of going to college is the newness of everything. Unlike in high school, you’re not likely to know many people when you walk into your first day of class. By attending an Open House, you unleash the possibilities of early friendship. Everyone there is likely looking for a friend, or even a possible roommate! Knowing a few students in your division and major will likely get you off to a more comfortable start in your first semester. 

Get familiar with campus

One of Champlain’s Victorian-era residence halls, Bader. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

Much like making friends, getting to know a school’s campus is a great way to tell if it is somewhere you want to spend the next four years. Taking a tour or exploring on your own during an Open House will give you a solid idea of what to expect if you decide to apply or commit, making you even more excited to start your application or begin classes in the fall. 

Interested in applying to Champlain? Here are the top 10 reasons you should!

Try the food

Students enjoying a meal in the IDX dining hall. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

If you don’t like the food you eat every day, how will you survive? At an Open House, you’ll be treated to the dining experience you’ll have every day as a student, which can turn out to be the deciding factor when it’s time to choose your school.

Plan for future fun

Student playing frisbee on Aiken Quad.

Open Houses provide a valuable glimpse into student life. At Champlain, you can experience a Core class, tour the campus, enjoy a buffet lunch, and Tweet about your experience using #ChampVisit! 

You will also be introduced to the clubs and activities available to students, including Champlain Ski & Ride, eSports Club, Hiking Club, Knitting for Good, Dance Team, and many more.

Your Open House experience can also give you an idea of what future campus events will look like. Champlain hosts many events for its students year-round, including Champstock, Rail Jam, and The Grind. Get informed about everything happening on campus now, and don’t miss a thing when you’re a student. 

Meet important people

Student shaking hands at the Senior Banquet in the Champlain Room. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

Meeting people on campus gives you the opportunity to ask questions that you might not have otherwise. Current students or alumni are made available to you at an Open House for just this reason. Often, they can give you the inside perspective you won’t find anywhere else. 

You will also have the opportunity to meet professors at an Open House. Speaking with them individually and attending their “class” sessions can reveal a lot about the educational process of the school, but also lead to making personal connections and learning about your professors’ activities related to your field of study. 

Financial Aid counselors and Admissions counselors are also experts that you will come across at an Open House. They can help you determine if your application is ready, and what scholarships you may be eligible for. Additionally, Champlain gives students the option to add an in-person interview to their application to give it a personal touch.  

Get some merch

Student wearing Champlain sweatshirt outside of the Student Life Center.

Picking out a shirt (or a few!) is a rite of passage when it comes to visiting colleges. If the school you’re at ends up being The One, you’ll be prepared to show your college pride at your high school’s college shirt day. 

If you bring a friend to one of Champlain’s Open Houses, you can both get one of our cozy hoodies for free

Explore off-campus

Smuggler’s Notch in the fall with beautiful Vermont foliage. Photo by Logan Potvin ’19.

College isn’t just about what goes on in the classroom. You have to love the location, too! By exploring the area off-campus during your Open House visit, you’ll be able to better envision yourself in your new home. Maybe you’ll even find your favorite coffee shop for the next four years!

There’s so much to do in Vermont that you won’t want to wait for—it’s easy to make a weekend getaway out of your visit. Burlington has lots of fun activities for the whole family all year-round, especially near our Fall and Winter Open Houses. 

Interested in attending an Open House at Champlain? Come to one of three Fall Open Houses we are hosting this fall! 

Alexa O'Kane
Alexa O'Kane
Class of 2021
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