The College Tour series on Amazon spotlights the UMBC student experience

Published: Apr 22, 2022

A student stands looking at a phone screen with a man while a camera operator looks on.
Behind the scenes of filming for Amazon Prime's The College Tour series. (Marlayna Demond '11/UMBC)

The College Tour—hosted by Alex Boylan of “The Amazing Race” and a team of award-winning producers—offers prospective college students and their families an opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of colleges and universities across the country, with students as the tour guides. Through interviews with students, prospective students from around the world explore academic, social, cultural, and campus life at these institutions. The latest season highlights UMBC in a full, hour-long episode.

The show’s producers visited campus in fall 2021 to film authentic stories about what it is like to be a UMBC student. Retrievers share their favorite elements of the UMBC experience. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students across a range of majors describe how they decided to attend UMBC, what student organizations and activities they are involved with on campus, and how they have been supported and inspired during their time as students. 

The episode also takes viewers all around UMBC, including to academic buildings and common spaces where students might connect with friends, without needing to travel to campus. Students take viewers to the Dance Cube in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, for a walk down Academic Row, to play foosball in the Game Room in The Commons, and to connect with friends at OCA Mocha, just off campus. 

Showcasing student stories

Through this episode, students tell the UMBC story—and their own stories—in a brand new way. Students featured in the video wrote their own scripts to share their stories as artists, innovators, entrepreneurs, international students, transfer students, student leaders, scholar-athletes, and more. 

Giuliana Weiss ‘22, computer science and theater, shares how being tutored in UMBC’s Writing Center was their inspiration to become a tutor to support other students. “Even from my first semester at UMBC, it was clear to me that UMBC prioritizes its students,” said Weiss, in the segment about their UMBC experience. 

In addition to the students who spoke on camera, more than 250 members of the campus and surrounding Catonsville and Arbutus communities supported the project as extras and production volunteers.

Mohamed Galal, M.A. ‘25, TESOL, found a community at UMBC that welcomed him and his family when they moved to Maryland from Egypt, and helped his daughter get settled at a local public school. “At UMBC you find professors that provide support, and a friendly classroom environment,” says Galal. “This personal and academic support made me feel at home away from home.” 

Watch the episode.

Banner image: Levi Lewis ’22, English and media and communication studies, (center) during filming for The College Tour. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

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