Lehigh’s undergraduate admissions office is preparing to offer formal in-person tours for prospective students beginning this spring for the first time in over a year.
While Lehigh has been holding virtual webinars and campus walkthroughs, many Lehigh tour guides are looking forward to the opportunities that come with in-person sessions.
“I think it is important to get back into in-person tours because I think for a lot of students, they don’t really know the feel of the campus until they step onto it,” said Lauren Dougherty, ‘23, tour guide. “For me personally, visiting campus was really important in my decision to come to Lehigh. I can see why it is important for prospective students to kind of be able to physically be on campus and feel the energy.”
Dougherty said Lehigh is still committed to offering campus tours in a hybrid format and is waiting to hear back from the COVID-19 Response Team about the specific guidelines that tour guides will have to follow.
Lehigh has attempted to introduce potential students to campus through portals where tour guides can communicate with prospective students and develop interpersonal relationships.
“I love being able to utilize my passion for this school in a way that helps other students,” said Georgia Kiriakou, ’23, a tour guide. “I am so happy to do anything I can to just help them learn how to direct themselves to where they fit in best and teach them how to stick to their gut feeling when choosing where they want to go for the next four years.”
Emily Friedman, ’23, said it has been challenging to give tours virtually because it is difficult to gauge how engaged people are, and there is less interest in virtual tours than there is for in-person tours.
Friedman said Lehigh encourages prospective students to come and walk around campus themselves.
“I see families around campus a lot and it is the perfect opportunity to go up and ask them if they have any questions,” she said.
Dougherty said it can be hard to stay motivated in maintaining their energy as a tour guide when she can’t feel the energy from the people on her tour, but knowing that she can impact someone’s vision of the school is very cool.
“I think most people just naturally want to reach out to students walking around campus because they signed up to be tour guides, and they are already interested in helping students see Lehigh’s campus,” Dougherty said.
Tour guides strive to make the virtual tour experience as normal as possible, but are looking forward to in-person tours so students can see what Lehigh has to offer.