InquilineKea wrote:Just out of curiosity - do any of you go to schools that schedule visits that purposefully avoid open houses just so that they can bombard individual applicants with personal attention?
(since I know that this is definitely the case for both UChicago Geophysical Sciences and Brown Geological Sciences). This is most likely far rarer in Physics/Astro though, if it ever happens.
Do you mean if we would prefer visiting as part of an Open House (if the school has one) or by yourself, to get the personal attention? I'll interpret and answer your question this way
I did individual visits for Canadian MSc programs 2 years ago and Open Houses for PhD programs this year. Balancing everything, I prefer visiting during Open House times if possible. I liked being able to meet other prospective students since they are potentially future classmates. It's also fun to compare their opinions too. Also, during an Open House, everybody is in "open house" mindset so it's a lot easier to schedule a whole bunch of meetings with profs and current students. Especially if the school already had an open house but you ended up visiting at another time, people may be "fatigued" from spending all the energy on visiting students before. Finally, on a purely cosmetic/personal level, although you may get special attention being the only visiting student, it's much more cost effective for the school to set up events for a larger number of visiting students, so you might get to go to nicer places, etc. And, it's nice to not have the attention purely on you all the time if there are other students around.