08/09/2018 UW Bothell student Gerardo Apin leads a campus tour. / Marc Studer photos By Zachary Nelson First impressions matter. For students researching colleges, the experience they have touring a campus for the first time plays an important role in their choice for higher education. At UW Bothell, tours are led by current students and are designed to give prospective students and their families a taste of campus life and an opportunity to get their questions answered in person. “Our student guides make a big difference on these tours,” said Ben Siegel, an admissions adviser at UW Bothell. “They speak from their own recent experience and can paint a true picture of what new students will encounter when classes begin.” Tours last 90 minutes and take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the year. On a recent tour, students and their families gathered at Husky Hall to begin their exploration. They learned some key benefits of UW Bothell, such as the average class size of 29, which allows students to create strong connections with both professors and their classmates. They also learned that UW Bothell students can take classes at the UW campuses in Seattle and Tacoma. Photo: Girardo Apin, a junior in Media & Communications Studies, talks to prospective student and family members on tour. “I’m a high school student from Skyline,” said Ben, a prospective student. “I toured some bigger colleges, and they just didn’t fit me. I want to go to UW Bothell because I like being able to talk with my teachers. I also like that they have intramural sports here.” The group then toured classrooms, labs and spaces where students spend much of their time when not in class, including the Activities and Recreational Center and sports fields, the library, the Student Success Center, the Makerspace in Discovery Hall and Husky Village (student housing). The Makerspace was a big hit with students and parents alike. The creative environment houses a variety of cutting-edge and old-school tools — including laser cutters, 3D printers, vise, drill press and a sewing machine — that students can use to unleash their imagination and become inventors. “Here at UW Bothell, we take great pride in ensuring that our students not just develop skills and knowledge but develop an innovative spirit,” said Pierre Mourad, professor in Engineering and Mathematics and in Neurological Surgery. At the library, the prospective students were excited by the potential to borrow more than just books. Laptops, video games and movies are all available for student use. “The library also offers 24/7 online help for UW Bothell students, so when they are working on that late-night paper they always have the option to ask a librarian for help,” said Sarah Leadley, the associate dean for University of Washington Libraries. Students also can check out cameras and recording devices from the UW-IT help desk located within the library. The tour group met people in the Student Success Center, which serves students by connecting them to answers, programs, resources and support across campus to enhance learning. Students can get assistance with resume-building, interview skills, internships and study abroad. They can also get help choosing their classes and getting into a major. Husky Village stood out for its apartment-style living. Students have the luxury of having their own kitchen and washer and dryer. One tour participant noted that “this isn’t a typical college dorm.” As the tour concluded, the parents and students chatted among themselves. “I am so glad we took the tour. I really think it helped my kids envision themselves as students here” said Cheri, the mother of Ben. They had all come to a similar conclusion: They weren’t just touring a college. They were exploring their future and were left with a good impression. Kristin Barnhill, admissions adviser for campus visits, starts tour at Husky Hall.