By: Alyssa Foster
IU South Bend has adjusted campus tours to comply with COVID-19 restrictions by creating three different tour options for potential future students.
At the beginning of the pandemic and campus closures, all scheduled tours were canceled for the 2020 spring and summer sessions. However, as requests for in-person tours came in, they were brought back just before the 2020 fall semester.
“While we can show tons of pictures and videos, for many prospective students, nothing can replace actually being on campus and walking around,” Caroline Bilsky, Assistant Director of Offices of Admissions, said. “A student has to feel at home and be able to picture themselves here before they can commit to a college, and we definitely learned this year that this cannot be done all via Zoom!”
IUSB’s tours are still led by current students to provide an authentic perspective of what campus is like. However, the challenge of giving in-person tours during a pandemic has made IUSB modify their original tour plans to adhere to health and safety guidelines.
Because of COVID-19, everyone attending an in-person tour must wear a face mask at all times, and advance registration is now required to monitor group sizes. In addition, the path of the tours has been changed and groups are capped at a maximum of eight people.
“In general, we have had the tours spend as little time indoors as possible…we no longer leave the main level of a building (to avoid elevators, small stairwells, etc.),” Bilsky explained.
Tours are available in-person on Mondays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. as well as on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. One tour time is available on Fridays at 2 p.m. in addition to two Saturday tours per month. Students who are unable to attend a scheduled tour can arrange for a personal tour for a different time or day.
For students or families who do not feel comfortable attending a tour with a guide, a self-guided tour is now an available option.
“Students and their families are welcome to come to campus and start by scanning a QR code on a sign near the big IU South Bend sign on Mishawaka Avenue. Once the guest scans the code on their smartphone, it takes them to an electronic guide that gives the reader an introduction to campus and each building,” Bilsky said.
The instructions for self-guided tours can be found at https://iu.pressbooks.pub/iusbtour/front-matter/introduction/. A Spanish version of the self-guided tour map will be made available soon.
Two virtual tours are also available on the IUSB Admissions Visit website and the IUSB YouTube Channel. One video is a 360-degree tour that allows the viewer to move the screen to see every angle of the buildings and the other is a video using still photos of campus.
Students looking for available tour dates and times, or those looking to register to attend, can visit the Admissions Visit website at https://admissions.iusb.edu/visit/index.html. For help with any questions, or to schedule a personal tour, emails can be sent to Caroline Bilsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.