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The Year 11 Academic Tour is a unique way to encourage students to embrace the many different tertiary opportunities that lie ahead.
Preparation for life beyond Wenona is a key focus in the Senior College. The Academic Tour encourages Year 11 students to widen their horizons and consider tertiary education options outside Sydney. It also gives them an insight into different courses and a hands-on view of what life is really like as an undergraduate student.
This year, our students had five different Academic Tours to choose from.
Most were multidisciplinary, but some had a specialised focus, including the Joint Medical Program Tour to Newcastle and Armidale:
• Tour 1: The University of Melbourne, Monash University
• Tour 2: The University of Queensland and Bond University
• Tour 3: The University of Newcastle and University of New England
• Tour 4: Australian National University and The University of Wollongong
• Tour 5: Torrens University; Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School and Charles Sturt University (Bathurst)
Each tour was informed by research the Year 11 cohort conducted at the end of last year, finding out information about different courses and looking into various colleges and universities predominantly outside of Sydney. This helped to cement their thinking about areas of interest and potential career paths, as well as forcing them to consider wider geographical options.
Head of Senior College, Mrs Kerr has been instrumental in making the Academic Tour an integral part of the Senior College experience. She accompanied students to Melbourne, and was delighted with the level of engagement, enthusiasm and interest they showed.
“The Year 11 Academic Tour provides a unique opportunity for students to develop a tangible understanding of the opportunities ahead. It represents the importance Senior College places on supporting our students’ to make the transition from school to tertiary education. Our aim is that they leave Wenona with the confidence to embrace the diversity of opportunities available to them.”
Here is what some of our students had to say:
“I had an amazing time on my Academic Tour to Melbourne. Our first stop was the University of Melbourne, where we learnt about the model if offers. I found this very helpful. I finally got to understand the difference between an undergraduate and a post graduate degree. I also learnt that the Melbourne model offers nine different bachelors in which you can major in different subjects. This correlates with the university system in the UK and as I have an interest in doing post graduate study in London, learning about this system was very helpful. This model also included a breadth subjects which I really liked because you can include really fun and interesting subjects, and I think this gives you a good break between your major subjects. As for the physical space of the university, I really liked the location. It is in the city, therefore is close to social hubs and the city is accessible to explore and get to know.
Francesca (Melbourne Academic Tour)
“I went to Queensland for the Academic Tour. There, we travelled to Bond University on the Gold Coast and the University of Queensland in Brisbane. These two universities are very different so it was very beneficial to see them both. Bond is a private university and is very small. This meant that classes of around 30 people. Bond fast-tracks degrees, meaning you can finish your degree in half the time due to the fact that they are a ‘trimester’ university. I had never heard of Bond before and learnt so much about how it works. After seeing going there, I had a greater understanding about the different structures of universities and the opportunities on offer. The University of Queensland (UQ) was also a very valuable experience. It was very different to Bond as there was a lot more people around the campus, in the classes and in the colleges. I loved visiting the women’s college as I was able to see what it looks like inside and how it works. It was also great to hear from current students about how they feel about living there and what they like about it. Overall, I really enjoyed the tour and think that University of Queensland could be a possible option for me in the future.”
Leila (Bond University and University of Queensland Tour)
“The Academic Tour provided valuable insights into university life and the diverse opportunities available. At ANU, Wenona alumnae showed us around the campus and gave us advice on how to make a smooth transition between high school and university. This was followed by a presentation about the admission process and how to apply for benefits such as scholarships. Our tour of the Wollongong campus was very interactive as we were able to participate in a gym class and use the new facilities such as the swimming pool. Despite still being unsure on which University would suit me best, I found the experience to be beneficial as it provided me with an insight as to what my future will look like beyond school. This opportunity would not have been possible without the teachers, Ms Furlong and Mr Blackwell, who joined up in Canberra and Wollongong. I’m so grateful to Ms McFetridge, Mrs Kerr and Miss Lehane, who organised and put together the Academic tour, giving us all opportunities to travel to different universities that interested us.”
Chloe (ANU and UOW Tour)
“Our experience in Newcastle and Armidale was an exhilarating opportunity that opened our eyes to the benefits of studying medicine in a rural location. It was hands on and worthwhile, allowing us to practically apply some of the content learnt through our chosen Year 11 electives. We were able to sit in on some first year clinical and communications tutorials as well as watch fourth year students carry out simulated emergency scenarios with state-of-the-art equipment, which we were fortunately given an opportunity to join in on.”
Newcastle and Armidale Year 11 Academic Tour Group
Well done to all the Senior College staff and teachers who accompanied the students and put in so much time and effort to make this a valuable and enjoyable experience.