Seeing Dalhousie through fresh eyes

A customized campus tour

- August 10, 2011

Dalhousie Tour Guide Alyson Murray (second from left) and Director of Recruitment Sue Dorey-Power (fourth from left) take a breather with counsellors on a campus tour. (Bruce Bottomley photo)
Dalhousie Tour Guide Alyson Murray (second from left) and Director of Recruitment Sue Dorey-Power (fourth from left) take a breather with counsellors on a campus tour. (Bruce Bottomley photo)

There are certain things you can’t understand until you experience it for yourself: life in residence, homecoming, the busy streets of downtown Halifax, to name a few.

At Dalhousie, the Registrar’s Office is making that experience accessible to everyone by providing fun and interactive campus tours that showcase the university’s unique course offerings and diverse campus culture.

Recently, the Registrar’s Office welcomed 19 high school counsellors and independent education consultants from the United States, Germany and the United Arab Emirates to explore the university campus and community. Dal was the first stop in a week-long tour organized by EduNova, an organization who works to raise the profile of Nova Scotia’s various educational and training programs to an international audience.

Counsellors were given the opportunity to experience life as a Dal student by staying overnight in residence at Risley Hall, eating on campus, going on a campus tour and chatting with Dal students and staff. In the evening, the group walked along the Halifax harbourfront and enjoyed a Tall Ship Silva Cruise with Dal staff and representatives from other Nova Scotia schools.

Highlighting the Dal experience

To kick off the tour, counsellors were given a presentation at the Rowe building that included an overview of Dal’s history, program options and services available on campus. They were also shown student and professor testimonials and given information on admission requirements and scholarship and bursary options.

Sue Dorey-Power, associate registrar and director of recruitment at Dal, says that every tour is customized depending on who the audience is, but certain things are always showcased: diversity of academic programs, the strong brand, and the student experience.

“Dal has such a wide range of options for students to get involved inside and outside the classroom,” explains Ms. Dorey-Power. “It’s easy to show this during our tours.”  

Making it visual

After the presentation, the counsellors were split up into three groups and taken around the campus by student guides, where they were shown different faculties and student common areas. For some counsellors, they were able to visualize their students attending Dal.

“During the tour, I couldn’t help but think of some specific students of mine who I think would fit in nicely here,” explains Scott Bradley, from Brunswick, Maine.

Others took note of the diversity of programs and students they saw while visiting the campus.

“I teach at a very ethnically diverse school back home,” says Bradley Toney from Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Mass. “So a place like Dalhousie would be very welcoming for my students.” 

‘Home away from home’

Some counsellors thought that not only would Dalhousie be a good match for their students but Halifax had a lot to offer as well.

Cathy Latty from Agoura Hills, Calif. says the fact that Halifax offers a wide range of water sports is a huge selling feature to her students since most Californians, like Nova Scotians, appreciate—if not require—easy ocean access.

“I think Halifax provides a great venue for people who want to get away but still want access to the beach,” she says. “It’s like a home away from home.”

Some even compared their own city to Halifax.

“Halifax reminds me of a smaller Boston. It’s very much a young person city with a strong sense of community and culture,” explains William Dunfrey, a university advisor and admissions specialist from Boston, Mass.

Fun for everyone

“These campus tours have proven to be invaluable over the years. Attendees include prospective students, their parents, new staff and faculty, and high school guidance counselors,” Ms. Dorey-Power says. “We find ways to showcase all our programs and departments so that students are able to really ‘see’ themselves here.”  

And since every tour is customized, guides are able to highlight certain areas of the campus and faculties if the demand is there.

Tours are offered year-round and if there are participants on a weekday during the academic year, they’re able to sit in a class and even meet with a professor afterwards.

And though the school year is busy, tour requests boom during the summer months.

“Many people will actually plan their vacations around coming to Halifax and taking one of our campus tours,” explains Ms. Dorey-Power. “It’s a great way for parents to see where their son or daughter may attend someday.”

Know someone who's looking to tour Dalhousie? Have them sign up online.


All comments require a name and email address. You may also choose to log-in using your preferred social network or register with Disqus, the software we use for our commenting system. Join the conversation, but keep it clean, stay on the topic and be brief. Read comments policy.

comments powered by Disqus