The UP Open University (UPOU) organized and conducted the first-ever Campus Tour for its new and old students and alumni on 09 August 2017 at the UPOU Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.

The Campus Tour provided a venue for students and alumni to get to know their university more by experiencing the campus physically, and meeting UPOU staff and faculty face-to-face. Since UPOU delivers its instructions fully online, the opportunity for students to visit the campus and physically interact with professors and student support staff is usually during their graduation. Most of the interactions of UPOU students are done virtually.

The UPOU Campus Tour was held in two batches. The morning batch was scheduled at 9:30 AM while the afternoon batch met at 1:30 PM. Each batch went through a game called Bing-OU which required students to take selfies in UPOU landmarks, answer special questions, and post a Facebook Album using the hashtags - #UPOUCampusTour and #UPOpenUniversity. Twelve students won UPOU T-shirts as prizes. One hundred three students representing 20 UPOU programs participated, including some students of Continuing Education Programs and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

After each tour of the campus, the students were given orientation about the Student Orientation Course Site, the UPOU’s mode of delivery and other academic processes and procedures. Some alumni and continuing students shared their experiences to new students on how to cope with open and distance learning. Students were also given a chance to ask questions at the end of the orientation. Dr. Melinda dela Pena Bandalaria, Chancellor of UPOU, congratulated the students in embracing the idea of lifelong learning through UPOU. She encouraged everyone to continue and pursue their programs to completion amidst all other life's businesses. She expressed her hope to see the students again, especially at the time of their graduation when their dream of “Sasablay din ako” comes true. Deans, faculty members, and support staff from the three Faculty Offices of UPOU joined the short program to address questions from the students. Many of the students found the event very helpful and suggested similar events in the future. Some also suggested a “Campus Night” as a socials event for students. UPOU plans to hold more campus tours soon and make available a virtual tour for students who are not able to come physically. (Anna Canas-Llamas)