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Year 11’s recent Academic Tour organised by Head of Senior School, Mrs Kerr, and Director of Student Opportunity and Career Education, Ms McFetridge, was a resounding success and will certainly help students to make informed choices at a key time in their schooling.
Mrs Kerr said, “A major goal of the Senior College is to prepare our students academically and socially to embrace the world of tertiary education. Preparing our students for the future begins with exposing our young women to authentic experiences such as the Academic Tour.”
Depending on their individual interests and talents, our Year 11 students were given the choice to visit colleges and universities across Victoria, Queensland, the ACT, regional New South Wales, as well as hospitality, tourism and graphic design colleges in the wider Sydney metropolitan area and the Blue Mountains.
Marina and Isabella, who are interested in studying medicine, visited the universities of Newcastle and New England, touring the campuses, exploring the residential colleges and meeting with current students, including Wenona Alumnae, to learn more about university life. It showed them the different pathways they could take at university, and that while medicine can be challenging, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy being an undergraduate.
The highlight for Marina was definitely a visit to the Simulation Centre at the University of New England (UNE). “We saw a simulation of a dummy undergoing cardiac arrest. Afterwards, we were allowed to practice on the simulator ourselves and play around with other equipment, which was really fun. We were also able to watch first year med students practising how to take heart measurements and family histories from patients.”
Isabella enjoyed having an opportunity to connect with Wenona Alumnae and hear their perspective on studying and living away from home. “To add to the academic side of the tour, the fact that we were also able to go out for dinner and enjoy some good games of pool in the youth hostel, really fostered a positive group dynamic and added to the enjoyable nature of the tour. Overall, the tour was a great opportunity to explore the pathways at university that are on offer when we finish school. It also provided us with information on the various on-campus accommodation options. Most of all however, the tour provided us with hands-on activities in the field of medicine, which we were all interested in, helping to enhance the experience and make it far more enjoyable.”
Caitlin, who is still considering her future study and career options, headed to Melbourne for her tour.
“The University of Melbourne was a wonderful campus and really appealed to me. I liked the breadth of subjects, however I found that the presentations leaned closer towards legal studies and medicine which I’m not interested in. Monash University was wonderful. I loved the campus and the course structure and felt a stronger community bond than at Melbourne University. College was not an option for me personally, however the idea of it was very interesting. The course structure, I found was not as diverse as Melbourne but would possibly be something to consider. Overall, I think that this was one of my favourites in terms of community feel. RMIT University was very different from the other two. I liked how they offered internships and international opportunities - that stood out to me. I felt the campus wasn’t for me, however the courses they offered would be something to consider. As a whole, the three universities were unique in their own way and provided me with a lot of options for when I graduate. After returning home, I have researched further into them and other universities such as Macquarie and UNSW, both of which are increasingly possible options for me if I decide not to move away. The tour was very worthwhile and provided me, and all students (I hope) with first-hand insight into universities and the unique things they offer.”
Henrietta, who also went to Melbourne, felt like the tour helped her on a personal level. Looking into degree options can be daunting and it can be hard to navigate university websites, so she found it extremely helpful as she considers her options. “People often fear the unknown and that was how I felt about applying to universities. I had no idea about what they were like or how they worked and that made me scared and inclined to just ignore universities in general rather than learn about them. I felt that this tour pushed me to get a better understanding of universities and of my future.”
Sibel enjoyed her tour to Bond University and Queensland University, gaining a much better perspective on different courses, which has helped her to make the link between the subjects she is currently studying in a more connected way.
“A highlight for me was definitely the architecture program at Bond University. Being a student who enjoys creative-based subjects, especially Textiles and Design and Technology, I thought this course was particularly interesting. It opened my eyes to careers and courses based in design.
I enjoyed learning about the technologies they have available and the way that the course is structured. I liked how students had their own personalised working space within the architecture building, with 24-hour access to all facilities. I think this is important because it structures learning in a way that is relevant to the workforce, with major projects operating like this to meet client deadlines.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in Queensland. It gave me great insight into university life and I had a great time with the girls that were attending the same tour.”
Abigail loved her tour of hospitality, tourism and design colleges across Sydney and the Blue Mountains. In particular, she enjoyed visiting Billy Blue Graphic Design College in Surry Hills. “This was an incredible experience as it is the field of study that I am interested in. Everything was so practical. They have industry placements where students can go into a chosen industry and work there, which also contributes to their studies. Personally, I am really looking forward to university and I’m considering going to Billy Blue. Overall, it was a great experience and I would thoroughly recommend it for future year groups.”
Finally, Sophie headed to the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra for her tour, and the visit confirmed to her that this is where she wants to study. "There are many things that are positive about attending ANU. I could pursue a career in economics and business, and doing this degree, I could also continue with French in their very welcoming College. The campus is extremely modern, with a range of areas that students can use such as a gym, sporting fields, libraries and student rooms on each level of the accommodation.
The rooms within Bruce Hall House are modest, yet perfectly sized. Furthermore, the introduction of the early application excites me. They are asking from 2019, that all applicants show their diverse commitments inside and outside school. As I do a wide range of co and extra-curricular activities (choir, sport, community service, and leadership activities) I believe that by doing early entry, I have a good chance of getting in. Reflecting on my experience, I can now say with confidence that ANU is the university for me."