Distance and finances may preclude your actually visiting schools. But you have some other options.
Many applicants live at great distances from the schools which they would like to visit. If you live in Asia or Europe, for example, it is not always financially or logistically possible to visit schools in person. What alternatives exist for those situations? Actually several. Off campus school visits come in a couple of flavors.
Admisisons Staff Visits Overseas
Many private schools send their admissions staff overseas to major cities in countries where they have a substantial applicant pool. Ask for details of visits in your area. While you will have to rely on the school's video and web presentations of its school life and activities, at least you will have a live person to whom you can pose questions. If English is not your first language, this meeting with school officials will give you a deadline to meet. After all, you are planning to attend school in a country where English is the instructional language used in most classes. You will be expected to have your interview in English.
Interviews With Local Alumni
Just like many universities and colleges do, private schools also will arrange an interview with an alumnus or alumna who lives in your local area. This is a quite common practice for meeting candidates who live here in the United States. Remember that most schools are looking for qualified candidates who may not have considered applying because of financial constraints. If you cannot afford to pay the school fees, chances are that you cannot afford to travel to the school itself either. That's why the school will come to you if it feels you have the qualifications it is looking for.
This part of the admissions process is critical for all concerned. The school needs to actually meet you and get a sense of who you are and what you offer. You need to determine if the school is a good fit for your needs and objectives.
Robert Knox Kennedy is a consultant who has written extensively about private schools.