Sunset on the beach - logically this is probably a Seattle beach
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An aerial shot of around 40 people crowded in a log cabin. Someone at the front seems to be speaking, with everyone around listening in some kind of a circle.

So, you just went on your Dartmouth tour or you just really love thinking about Dartmouth tours. In any event, you probably asked yourself: how did Dartmouth ensure that this tour stood out? The answer might be simpler than you thought: it's all thanks to our rigorous tour guide vetting and training process.

One of my favorite facts that I've learned in 2024 is that 13% of the Class of 2027 applied to be tour guides this year. I think this number really speaks to how much our student body cares about Dartmouth. Not only do people love attending our school, but students want to help other people learn about Dartmouth, too.

After all of the tour guides were chosen—myself included—we got to celebrate as a cohort. We all went down to the river first thing in the morning and ate donuts in a cabin. It was truly a wonderful way to kickstart our training journeys at the end of winter term.

Once spring came around, there were around five hours of group training per week for three weeks. These trainings happened in small groups with tour guide trainers (other current students) and with the admissions officer overseeing the tour guide program. This timeframe doesn't include suggested shadowing—one of the most helpful parts of our training program! Between shadowing and formal training, we learned everything from how to answer hard questions to hearing from departments that we should highlight on our tours. We even received a booklet with every little detail and statistic that we should know. As you can see, a large part of being a tour guide here is knowing the ins and outs of Dartmouth itself.

A photo taken in Collis Student Center of a tour guide wearing a backpack. The tour guide appears to be talking, with their back facing Collis Common Ground.
Shadowing in Collis!

What I thought made my Dartmouth tour stand out when I was applying was how much personality it had. Not only was I learning facts and figures, but I was also getting a sense of what it was actually like to be a student on campus. Apart from the number-heavy aspects of training, we also learned how to tell our stories in creative, succinct ways. I know that these skills will help me for years to come.

So, that's all there is to it! Once we're done with training, we take a tour guide test (we just give an entire tour) and then we're officially official. How exciting!

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