Katie Walters, CFNN Editor/Reporter

Finding the right college is a difficult task. It’s one of the first major life choices you have to make as a new adult. The only problem is, there really isn’t enough time to see everything you’d like before making that crucial choice. College tours are the best way to get an idea of what your college experience would be like at a certain school. 

Luckily, for AIG, or Academically Intellectually Gifted students, there are several opportunities to go on them! Throughout the year, AIG students have the option to go on one of the several college tours offered each year.

Mrs. Amy Karcher, the AIG consultant, is in charge of making these trips possible. Each year, she plans at least 7 trips for the students. AIG 9th graders get the opportunity to go to Methodist every year. The newest addition, UNC Greensboro and North Carolina A&T, is available to AIG 10th graders each year. 11th graders go to NCSU every year as well. 

Some colleges alternate every other year, such as UNC Pembroke and Campbell (offered to 10th and 11th grade AIG students), and ECU and UNC Wilmington (offered to 11th and 12th grade AIG students). 

“This year, we have been to UNCW, UNC, and Campbell. We have NCSU, Methodist, and UNCG/A&T coming up in March and April,” said Mrs. Karcher. Unfortunately, the NCSU trip is currently closed, but there is always a chance that a spot may open up!

Typically, these trips can range anywhere from $5 to $30. There are several factors included in this price, such as where the campus is, how far it is, and what type of bus you’ll need to take. The most common transportation method is a charter bus.

When going on one of these trips, there is a busy day planned for each college! Mrs. Karcher said, “Our college visits usually begin with an admissions session. Various school representatives sometimes Honors College representatives as well, will speak on behalf of the admissions process and answer questions the students may have.” 

The best way to get firsthand information is from the college representatives themselves. It’s okay to ask questions because one of the many great things about a group field trip is that there are others who may have the same ones as well!

“We then usually take a tour of the campus. The tour typically includes important buildings, housing options, dining facilities, libraries, classrooms, student centers, athletic facilities, and other important locations specific to that campus. These tours are generally led by students at the college. They also answer questions our students may have,” she stated. 

This is probably my favorite part of the entire trip. Getting a tour from students who actually go there is a very interesting and fun experience. You get to hear their stories of how they chose that college, the memories they’ve made, and they tell you the best advice possible.

Many students think that these trips are just a field trip to miss a day of school, but there is so much you can gain from them. “I have always felt that one of the most important steps in choosing a college to attend is to visit the school. You can usually get a feel for a school as soon as you walk onto the campus,” Mrs. Karcher said.

She’s completely right, taking that first walk through the school is an eye-opening experience. You’ll never know how something is until you see it in person.

If you’re an AIG student considering going on one of these trips, definitely try it! While you do miss school, you get an enriching experience that can help you determine your future. Having these opportunities is a great thing, so you need to take them up while you still can!

Since NCSU is closed, the next upcoming trips are UNCG and North Carolina A&T, and Methodist. More information about these trips will be out soon, but make sure to check the AIG Google Classroom frequently!