Plant Hall UTampaWhen traveling with teens incorporating a college visit while on a family road trip makes perfect sense. Not only does a college visit make for a pleasant pit stop, the hour or so you’ll spend walking around campus will give you the chance not only to stretch your legs but also take in some gorgeous scenery as well. 

Our most recent family vacay–college visit was to the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Given all the things we already had planned to do in Clearwater, we knew we would not be able to make it to one of the scheduled campus tours and information sessions, so I sent an email to the admissions office to let them know we planned to drop in and walk around their campus.

To my surprise, the admissions director replied and asked me for the name of my teen and said he had arranged for a student to lead us around campus. Even more surprising was the look on my son’s face when he saw his name on the “Welcome Board” at the University of Tampa as we entered the reception area in Plant Hall. 

Our tour guide was delightful and though we would have had a nice time exploring campus on our own, it was so much better to be with someone who could tell us about the buildings (which were dorms, which were classrooms, etc.), as well as provide answers to our questions about majors, the students, and life in Tampa. Talking with a student, whether he or she is your tour guide or someone you strike up a conversation with on campus, is a “must do” on any type of college visit. 

Situated next to the Hillsboro River, the campus was beautiful with a mix of quaint, older buildings and new structures to accommodate the university’s growth. The  Universit of Tampa enrolls close to 7,000 students and offers 150 programs of study. Over 1,300 are international students. It’s a very pleasant pit stop and a now a college on my teen’s list to consider when the time comes.