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Should You Take Night Classes?

By News

While night classes are most popular with students who also have a full-time job, they’re actually open to everyone. Whether there’s a class you’d like to take that’s happening at night, you’re considering taking night classes just for the experience, or you’d like to free up some time during the day, it’s important to know the pros and cons before coming to a decision.

Pro: Hear Different Perspectives

Since it’s mainly mature students who take night classes, you’ll hear completely different viewpoints. This can lead to engaging discussions in the classroom and can enrich group projects. Since some students may already have jobs in a related field, you’ll also gain insights into what it’s like to work in particular industries.

Con: A Restricted Social Life

Mature students and others working full time will often be less available to socialize. Plus, your classes may take place at the same time as other activities on campus, meaning you could miss out on some other opportunities.

Pro: Free Up Your Schedule

When taking classes at night, it’s up to you how to use your time during the day. It can be particularly useful to study: doing homework right before a night class can be helpful for remembering more details, meaning you’ll be able to participate more in class. It can also be useful for reminding you that you need to ask the professor any questions you may have. Alternatively, night classes could increase your availability for shifts, which will mean you’re able to work more hours and increase your income.

Con: Reduced Access to Campus Services

Services like the financial aid office, careers services, writing centre, and perhaps even dining and the campus library may only be open during the day. If you’re taking night classes to be able to work, you may need to request time off to access these services.

Pro: Expand Your Network

You’re likely to meet students at night classes whom you would otherwise never have met. This is great for developing a network of people who could be useful contacts after you graduate. In addition, you’ll often find that adjunct professors are teaching night classes. They often come from more diverse backgrounds than tenured professors and may have more real-world experience.

Con: Long Hours

Combining night classes with morning and afternoon classes can lead to long days. You’ll need to be disciplined enough to ensure you use your time between classes productively and avoid distractions like social media. If you want to take just night classes for the chance to work during the day, you may find that you become exhausted, which will make it more difficult to concentrate in class.

If you do decide to take night classes, it will be extra important to live near campus. For Brock off-campus living, there’s Foundry Lofts. At just one kilometre from campus, it’s a 10-minute walk, six minutes by bike, and three minutes by bus. Plus, you’ll have a range of great amenities on site, including a fitness centre, study lounge, and in-suite washer and dryer. Apply now to secure a unit for next semester.

What to Look For in a Summer Internship

By News

All sorts of companies offer students the chance to take summer internships. If you know exactly what you’d like to do after you graduate or what company you’d like to work for, it may be obvious what type of internship is right for you. However, if you’re still exploring your options, it can be particularly difficult to know what to look for. Whatever your goals, there are certain characteristics you should always search for in an internship.

1. Something That Will Strengthen Your Resume

Think about what kind of internship you would like to be able to list on your resume when applying for jobs and talking to potential employers at a careers fair. The experience should gain you relevant skills that mean you’re better qualified for the kind of position you want after you graduate.

2. The Chance to Explore Your Options

Depending on how well defined your career goals are, you may like to find an internship in a particular role or just in a certain industry. You may like to search for something that resembles your dream job or discover one of several possibilities for after you graduate. Whatever you pick, make sure your internship gives you plenty of opportunities to work on real projects and gives you a taste of what it would be like to work permanently in a similar position.

3. Great Contacts

Internships can sometimes lead to full-time jobs in the organization after you graduate. However, even if you decide to look elsewhere for work, the internship should provide you with useful contacts in the industry. These people may be able to recommend you other opportunities, provide you with references, or even become your mentors. To gain the most valuable contacts possible, search for internships where you’ll be in direct contact with executives at the company.

4. An Enjoyable Experience

Ideally, you’ll enjoy your internship. The type of work you’ll be doing will have a big impact, but you should also search for an organization that has a positive work culture where other people enjoy their jobs. This can have benefits beyond providing you with a great experience over the summer: it will also show you what the world of work can be like and help you make better decisions about what you’re willing to settle for later in life.

5. Work You Care About

The internship will be more meaningful to you — and look more impressive when you’re applying for jobs — if you work on projects that have an impact in the real world. Often, the best way to find out what the internship is likely to involve is to research what work interns did in previous years.

A final consideration is where you’ll live during your summer internship. Many students choose to stay near their university and find an apartment where they can continue to live when the fall semester starts. For Brock University off-campus housing, there’s Foundry Lofts. You’ll be able to stay connected with WiFi throughout the building, relax in your private bedroom in your spacious suite, and meet other students in places like the TV lounge, game room, and movie theatre. Apply now while there are still a few places left.

12 Quick & Easy Gifts for Your Friends’ Graduation

By News

If some of your friends will be graduating soon, you need to start thinking about gifts. You want something special, but you also need to stay within your budget — especially if several friends will be graduating at the same time. The good news is you have plenty of options for gifts you can pick up easily for a decent price.

1. A Candle

A scented candle is great as a personalized gift, as you can choose different fragrances for each friend according to their preferences. Your friends will be able to burn the candles when they move into their new homes — and think of you.

2. A Mirror

Another option that doubles up well as a housewarming present is a mirror. Mirrors are less expensive than other decor, and you can find ones with trendy frames or in interesting shapes to suit your friends’ tastes.

3. A Planner

For friends who need to improve their organizational skills, there’s no better gift than a planner. They can also use the planner to make a note of the goals they want to achieve after graduating.

4. Hydrating Masks

Encourage your friends to take some time to relax after all that hard work by gifting them a couple hydrating face masks. This could be just what they need to feel prepared for an interview or the first day at a new job.

5. A Long-Lasting Tote Bag

Most tote bags are not made to last: you use them a few times and they start to tear or look tattered. One that’s both durable and stylish makes a great gift.

6. A Photo Album

Give your friends somewhere to store memories of their time at university with a photo album. You could even start the album with a few polaroids or prints of your own.

7. A Journal

If you have friends who love to journal — or would like to start — gift them an attractive notebook where they can jot down their thoughts. This will feel much more special than using a spiral notebook.

8. Sunglasses

You can never have too many shades! Pick out some that will allow your friends to graduate in style.

9. A Desk Organizer

Any friend who will be working a desk job can benefit from an organizer. It’s ideal for keeping clutter in check.

10. A Personalized Mug

Mugs are inexpensive and can make totally unique gifts. Find a service that allows you to print your own design and choose something different for each friend. For instance, you could use an inside joke, a few words of motivation, or a favourite photo from your time at university.

11. A Coffee Tumbler

For friends who need to drink their coffee on the go, a tumbler could be a better option than a mug. Search for a tumbler with a meaningful design, such as something related to the city where you’re studying or perhaps your university logo.

12. A Graduation Card

If you’re particularly strapped for cash and you have a large number of friends you want to congratulate, a card could be enough. Spend one weekend creating handmade cards for each friend or order some funny cards.
Another way to save money while you’re at university is to move into off-campus student housing. St. Catharines students have Foundry Lofts. Our apartments provide you with a comfortable place to live in a great location at an affordable price. Sign a lease now to secure our lowest rates.

Simple Student Decorating Ideas to Try

By News

When you move into your new student apartment, it can take a while for the space to feel like it’s your own. This is especially likely to be the case if you’ve lived in the same house with your family for several years and had the chance to accumulate many things that express your personality. To start feeling at home at university sooner, try some of these simple decorating tips.

1. A Peg Board

If you find that your desk quickly becomes cluttered, a peg board may be a better alternative than shelves. You can hang up all sorts of small items within easy reach — it’s convenient and it adds to the aesthetics of your room.

2. Fairy Lights

Create ambience without making your room too bright with fairy lights. These are ideal to use with a desk lamp while studying, or on their own when you want to relax, listen to music, or hang out with friends.

3. LED Strips

You may prefer to use LED strips instead of fairy lights. They come in various colours as well as white and produce a completely different effect. For the best results, install them around the edge of a board.

4. A Star Projector

One more option for lighting is to set up a star projector. This is particularly ideal for your bedroom, as it will help you relax in the evening and fall asleep more easily.

5. Posters

Bare walls always look boring. Posters are an inexpensive way to display your interests and add some colour. You could find posters of your favourite albums, movies, or TV shows or even just with a design you like.

6. An Area Rug

Keep the floor warm and make it more visually appealing with an area rug. As long as the rug complements the rest of your decor reasonably well, you can use this as a chance to be adventurous: go bright, fluffy, or contemporary.

7. A Tapestry

You can be even more vibrant than with a rug by hanging a tapestry on your wall. Find a design you love and instantly transform the room.

8. Indoor Plants

Freshen the air in your apartment with a few indoor plants. It’s best to find some low-maintenance plants that will be easy to keep alive, especially if you’ve never cared for plants before.

9. Thrift Store Decor

Pick up some unique items for your apartment by checking out local thrift stores and garage sales. This is great for giving the space a vintage theme.

10. Photo Collages

Print out some of your best photos and stick them together as a collage. You may like to use pictures of friends from high school, hobbies, pets, or something else that reminds you of home.

Of course, you’ll only be able to make your apartment inviting if you find comfortable student housing in the first place. Living on campus means sharing a cramped space you can barely call your own — a better option is to find a student rental. St. Catharine’s students have Foundry Lofts, which has several types of furnished and unfurnished suites to choose from. Contact us now for a lease before all the units are taken.

10 Careers with the Best Job Prospects in Canada

By News

Even earning a university degree is no guarantee of a great job. However, you’ll increase your chances of steady employment if you enter a career that has excellent job prospects in Canada. Jobs in a variety of industries are in high demand now and are likely to continue to have good prospects in the future.

1. Human Resources Manager

You may think of human resources managers as being responsible for the hiring decisions at a company, but they actually do much more than this. In fact, they’re necessary in every industry for their role in coordinating the administration of organizations. To qualify for the top positions, you should continue your education to a master’s degree.

2. Web Developer

A career in web development can be whatever you make it. Whereas some web developers are self-employed, others work at businesses of all sizes, particularly in the computer systems industry. You may end up developing applications, creating or maintaining websites, or doing another type of programming.

3. Pharmacist

There are great prospects in almost all healthcare jobs, but a career as a pharmacist has to be near the top of the list. You’ll provide patients with medical advice, either while working at a hospital or in a drugstore — you could even establish your own pharmacy. To become a pharmacist, you’ll need to pass an exam after you obtain your degree and meet the specific requirements of your province.

4. Aerospace Engineer

It’s aerospace engineers who are behind the design and function of all aerospace vehicles and systems, including aircrafts, spacecrafts, and satellites. Not only is the aerospace industry growing in Canada, but many current workers are nearing retirement age, which opens up new positions.

5. Electrical Engineer

Another engineering career path that has great job prospects is as an electrical engineer. You could be responsible for designing, manufacturing, or testing electrical systems. Most of the work takes place in an office environment, but some jobs require you to visit equipment in the field.

6. Financial Advisor

If you have a head for numbers and you’re interested in investing, you could find a fruitful career as a financial advisor. Jobs are available at banks, where you will advise clients about the products your institution offers, or you can work on a freelance basis, helping individuals to manage their money.

7. Business Development Manager

For a role in business where you’re actively responsible for helping the company grow, consider a career as a business development manager. You’ll be working closely with the sales team, finding opportunities for sales executives and building relationships with potential clients. The best positions will become available when you have experience or if you earn a master’s degree.

8. Veterinarian

With more people becoming pet owners or expanding their families to include more animals, the demand for veterinarians is increasing. You’ll need to major in pre-veterinary study at university and then attend an accredited veterinary college. However, the few additional years of education this career requires should be worthwhile if you love animals and want to work with them every day.

9. Accountant

Accountants are critical for businesses and individuals who need support with their finances. Most accountants specialize in a particular area, such as auditing, payroll, or taxes. After you achieve your degree, you’ll find it invaluable to complete the certification to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

10. Registered Nurse

Nurses are the glue that hold the healthcare system together, but there’s currently a shortage in Canada that needs to be filled. As a registered nurse, you’ll be responsible for coordinating patient care and educating the public about health.

To pursue one of these careers, you’ll need to study hard. However, it can be difficult to obtain the best grades when you live in a university residence — it makes more sense to search for off-campus rooms for rent. St Catharines students have Foundry Lofts. You’ll receive your own bedroom in a spacious suite as well as access to great amenities like a fitness centre, lounges, and a quiet study zone. Apply now to take advantage of the best rates of the year.

7 Tips for Budgeting as a Student

By News

One of the biggest challenges students face when they start university is being fully responsible for their finances. This means learning to budget. It’s important to stick to a budget to live comfortably and participate in activities until the very end of the month. Plus, improving your budgeting skills now will be beneficial for the rest of your life. Here are some strategies to practise.

1. Calculate Your Income

To figure out how much you have available to spend each month, you need to know your income. This may include the amount you receive for living costs from your student loans and funds from grants. If you feel that your income is too low for your needs, consider searching for a part-time job, picking up gig work, or starting your own business at university.

2. Find Scholarships

Another way you can increase your income is to find scholarships. If you search enough, you should be able to find several that are relevant for your situation. It may take some effort to apply to them all, but it can pay off in the long term by significantly increasing your income.

3. Track Where Your Money Goes

Your budget should be about more than how much you can afford to spend: you need to allocate funds to different activities. The best way to determine how much you can assign to each is to track your current spending habits with a budgeting app. Bear in mind that some expenses will be the same each month, whereas others will vary. It’s the variable ones you need to be most careful about, as these can push you over budget.

4. Include Credit Card Payments in Your Budget

You’ll quickly build high-interest debt if you use your credit card frequently and only make minimum payments. It’s best to pay off your balance in full each month — but to be able to do this, you need to include credit card payments in your budget.

If you use your credit card responsibly, you can start building a good credit score. However, make sure you do your research before you choose a credit card. Rather than applying for the first one you come across, find one that will benefit you.

5. Aim to Spend Less Than Your Income

You should never set a budget that uses 100 percent of your income. There’s always a chance you’ll face an emergency — and if you have no funds left, you’ll need to add a payment you can’t afford to your credit card. Avoid debt by consistently spending less than your monthly budget.

6. Save Whatever You Can

It’s better still to allocate some of your budget to savings. You can use these funds in an emergency, for purchases that are too large for your monthly budget, or just to start developing good financial habits.

7. Set Financial Goals

It can help with your motivation to budget to have long-term financial goals, such as paying off your student loans by a certain time. To reach these goals, you’ll need to have some short-term targets that relate to your everyday budgeting.

One way you can free up more funds in your budget is to move into an affordable apartment. Foundry Lofts offers Brock University off-campus housing to suit any budget. Choose between a furnished or unfurnished suite with three or four roommates. Apply now for the floor plan you want before they’re all sold out.

What to Look For in a Student Apartment

By News

Although living off campus is almost always preferable to staying in student residence, not all student apartments are equal. There are certain things you should look for in an apartment to ensure you’ll be comfortable, safe, and happy. Here are a few starting points to guide you.

1. All-Inclusive Rent

Beyond finding an apartment within your budget, it’s best if the rent is all inclusive. This means you won’t need to worry about budgeting for multiple utilities or services, including electricity, heating, and internet bills.

2. Great Amenities

Some amenities are essential, whereas others will enhance your experience. Consider which amenities matter the most to you and only visit apartments that offer these features. For instance, you may want a furnished apartment, onsite laundry facilities, somewhere you can park, or air conditioning.

3. Condition of the Property

It’s crucial to check that the property is in good working order before you commit to a lease. You can check many things during your tour, including the faucets, toilets, water pressure in the shower, outlets, heating, and locks. Also think about how much natural light you’ll gain and whether the windows are leaky. Look at the appliances: are they modern or old and potentially worn out? Finally, consider your impression of the landlord and the other residents in the building to determine if you’d be comfortable living in the apartment.

4. Safe and Convenient Neighbourhood

Since there may be times when you come home late at night, it’s critical that the neighbourhood is safe. You can do some research online, but you should also go with your gut feeling. It’s best of all if you can find an apartment near campus that’s also close to places like a grocery store, a coffee shop, and public transport (if you don’t have a car).

5. Minimal Leasing Fees

Bear in mind that some landlords charge extra fees related to the lease, including approval and administrative processing fees. You may also incur a fee if you want to sublease your apartment or delay signing the lease until later. Since these fees can add up, look for a landlord that will charge you a minimal amount.

6. Conditions of the Lease

Make sure you read the lease carefully and never allow a landlord to pressure you into signing. Ask for clarification for anything you’re unsure about. In particular, check if there is an option to renew your lease for another year — this will prevent you from needing to look for new accommodation.

7. Maintenance Requests

No matter if the building is old or new, you may need to request maintenance at some point. Ask your landlord about how service requests work.
For Brock off-campus living where you’ll receive all the above and much more, there’s Foundry Lofts. Our student apartments are just a 10-minute walk from campus. We have both furnished and unfurnished units available for an all-inclusive price. As well as amenities like WiFi, an in-suite washer and dryer, and self-controlled air conditioning, you’ll have access to our fitness centre, lounges, and movie theatre. Apply now while our lowest rates are still available.

4 Ways to Build a Strong Resume in College

By News

College is all about preparing for the world of work. In addition to gaining a qualification, you’ll have the chance to participate in activities that will enhance your resume. This is particularly important when you have limited work experience. Of course, not all activities are equal and there are certain things that are extra worthwhile for building a strong resume. Here are a few strategies to consider.

1. Find a Job

One of the best things to have on your resume is an employment history. Start looking for a job by searching for opportunities on campus. These positions are often ideal because you’re able to fit your work around your college schedule. Plus, there tend to be numerous positions available, meaning you should be able to find something that matches your interests and gives you the chance to acquire relevant skills.

Having said that, there’s no need to limit your search to campus jobs. You may be able to find something that appeals to you more through an external employer. Alternatively, you could even start your own venture or think of a service you could offer on a freelance basis, such as childcare, IT support, or dog walking.

2. Search for an Internship Related to Your Career Goals

Another way to gain work experience is through an internship. However, it’s important not to simply apply for anything that comes your way. Instead, think about how an opportunity could benefit you in the future and choose something that will look impressive on your resume. Besides, you have a much higher chance of landing a position if you have a good reason for applying.

3. Use Your College Career Services

Whenever you feel unsure about anything related to employment, use your college’s career services. In addition to improving your resume, you may be able to receive one-on-one support for finding a job, searching for suitable internships, and mastering interview techniques. An advisor can also help you with your career goals, including by telling you what skills you need to acquire and what action you should take now to start preparing.

4. Attend Networking Events

Besides a strong resume, you’ll need connections in your field. Put in the effort to meet people who could help to open doors for you later. Talk to employers at career fairs, get to know your professors on a personal level, and strive to keep expanding your social circle, especially with students taking the same major as you.

Another place to meet people is conferences and other industry specific events. You can even mention your attendance on your resume. While it’s not typical for someone with experience to include this information, it can be helpful for showing your passion and filling up your resume when you have little to include.

After spending a long day in classes and at your job or internship, you’ll want somewhere comfortable to come home to. An alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts. Our off-campus student community has spacious suites and a management team to keep the buildings in great condition. Apply now to secure our lowest rates.

9 Career Options for Music Lovers

By News

The music industry has undergone some extreme changes over the last couple of decades. Consumers no longer purchase music at nearly the same levels as they once did, but that doesn’t mean demand for music has in any way decreased. In fact, changes in the industry have created a range of new careers. Studying a music-related major like audio engineering, music production, or music business could open up these opportunities for you.

1. Sound Engineer

Some of the best-paying jobs in the music industry go to sound engineers. Various jobs fall into this category, including for mapping sound effects for video games, composing scores for movies, and recording sound for TV productions.

2. Music Agent

A career that often comes to mind when talking about the music business is a music agent. You’ll need a good understanding of marketing, project management, and public relations, such as for managing social media, organizing interviews and events, and writing press releases for your clients.

You can represent musicians and bands by finding a job at a music marketing firm or by setting up your own agency.

3. Conductor

Becoming a musician is not the only way to work in performance: you could also conduct an orchestra or choir. You’ll be responsible for choosing the music and creating arrangements suitable for your musicians or singers. You’ll then need to rehearse with your group and attend performances. You may like to start out leading a school band, youth orchestra, or choir. With experience, options may open up in TV and radio or with a performance company.

4. DJ

Successful DJs are outgoing entertainers who know how to create a beat. This path tends to lead to a career as a freelancer, but it’s not difficult to receive referrals if people love your music. You may even be able to land regular work at the same bars or clubs.

5. Recording Engineer

If you’d prefer to work behind the scenes, a career as a recording engineer could be for you. This involves recording songs and then mixing and mastering the tracks. As well as jobs with composers, arrangers, and producers, you may work with a film sound editor or concert production company.

6. Music Journalist

A great way to attend a performance without being in the spotlight yourself is to become a music journalist. You may need to start out as a freelancer until you are able to land a position with a music magazine or another publication. As well as attending and covering concerts, you’ll likely write about new releases, artist profiles, and news items related to the music industry.

7. Songwriter

Behind every great song is a songwriter. If you pursue this career, you’ll be responsible for writing some musical elements as well as lyrics. This is one of the more difficult areas of the music industry to get into. It helps to have some interesting stories to tell along with a knack for writing lyrics that resonate with your audience.

8. Musical Therapist

Music can be healing, especially for patients with mental health conditions but also for those with physical pain. After learning how to use music for therapy, you’ll be able to provide support for people at hospitals, clinics, rehab centres, and assisted living facilities.

9. Music Teacher

As a music teacher, you can be self-employed or work at a school or academy. You can teach one or several instruments or musical skills in general. Whatever you choose, this is sure to be a rewarding career.
Since jobs in the music industry can be competitive, you’ll need to study hard to gain an edge over other graduates. This means searching for suitable student rentals. St. Catharines music students can find a home at Foundry Lofts. As well as being able to study at your desk in a fully-furnished suite, you can head to our onsite quiet study zone whenever you like. Plus, you’ll be able to meet students attending other colleges in places like the fire-side lounge, fitness centre, and game room. Apply now to secure your spot.

Ways to Destress as a Student

By News

Going off to university is an exciting time, but as with any other major life change, it certainly comes with its share of stressors. Most significantly, you’ll be living independently, which brings much more freedom and choice than you’re used to. You’re particularly likely to feel stressed when your energy levels drop and you face more demands than you can handle. Whenever you feel like you’re in this situation, here are a few things you can do to destress.

1. Sleep Enough Each Night

There are often times when you may feel tempted to stay up late, whether to squeeze in a few more hours of studying, hang out with friends, or even relax with social media or video games. However, if you need to wake up early for class or another commitment, this is never a good idea. Sleep deprivation will make you more stressed and put you at risk for serious health conditions.

Instead, try to stick to a bedtime — don’t sleep until the early afternoon to make up for a late night. It’s helpful for your body to have a schedule, and it’s best if this is aligned with the hours of daylight.

2. Exercise Regularly

Staying physically active is a great way to relax — plus, it will help you fall asleep faster. College is a great time to experiment with new activities you may enjoy, such as by joining sports teams, going to the gym, or taking advantage of free fitness classes. When you find a form of exercise you enjoy, you’ll look forward to working out.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

You’ll also feel better physically and mentally if you’re eating well. Healthy foods will keep your energy levels steady throughout the day and prevent a sugar high that will only make you feel worse later. Besides, university is a great time to explore new flavours and to learn cooking skills that will benefit you for life.

4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

One thing that should be in your diet only in moderation is caffeine. A coffee in the morning and perhaps another after lunch is reasonable. However, relying on caffeine to keep you alert into the night to meet the due date for a paper will make you much more susceptible to stress. For the same reason, you should avoid prescription medication to boost your energy.

5. Create a Reasonable Schedule

It’s easy to take on too much when you start university. You may want to work, join many clubs, and sign up for the maximum number of classes. While it’s fine to experiment with your limits, you also need to know when to drop something to prevent burnout. For instance, you may need to drop a class, volunteer less often with your extracurriculars, or search for a job with a more manageable schedule.

6. Make Time for Leisure

What you shouldn’t do is give up all your fun activities to make time for studies and work. It’s important to spend a few hours a week on your hobbies, whether on your own or as part of a group. A great thing about university is that you should find plenty of opportunities to explore new passions.

7. Learn Breathing Exercises

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, stop and breathe. There are various types of breathing exercises you can try, the most simple of which involves breathing slowly and deeply for at least a few seconds.

You’ll feel much less stressed if you’re living in a place you love to call home. Since living on campus means losing privacy and sharing your living spaces with a large number of other people, many students prefer to search for rooms for rent. St. Catharines students can find high-quality student housing at Foundry Lofts. You’ll have your own room in a suite that you’ll share with just three or four other people. Plus, you’ll have access to a range of great onsite amenities, including fitness facilities, a games room, and a study zone. Receive an in-person or virtual tour to see it for yourself.