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Life Beyond Wenona

Back after a two-year hiatus, the Wenona Academic Tours comprehensively prepare students for the next stage of their educational journey.

Life beyond school is a significant focus within the Senior College. A signature program for Year 11 students is our Academic Tours. In 2022 they consisted of four unique itineraries designed to open the girls’ eyes to the magnitude of post-school learning opportunities across the country.

“While each tour had a distinctive focus, they all opened the doors to university life, easing decisions around tertiary institutions and undergraduate courses, to make what can be a daunting transition as smooth as possible and create stronger preparedness for tertiary life,” said Director of Student Opportunity and Careers Education Ms Samantha McFetridge.


The tours comprised: Victoria (University of Melbourne and Monash University), Queensland (University of Queensland and Bond University), Canberra (Australian National University and Wollongong (University of Wollongong) and finally Newcastle (University of Newcastle) and Armidale (The University of New England).

Waiting at every destination was a group of Wenona alumnae, ready to respond to the students' questions and academic concerns.


2022-2023 Careers Captain Olivia (Year 11) participated in the trip to Armidale and Newcastle. "It gave me a better understanding of the numerous pathways you can take towards a medical career,” she said. “These universities have amazing facilities such as practice radiology machines and hospitals for nursing students to train in. Overall, the trip made me feel more comfortable about the idea of what waits for us after school."


Alumna Charlotte Collier (2019) participated in the same tour when she was in Year 11 and says it was instrumental in shaping her decision to complete a Bachelor of Health Science degree at the Australian National University (ANU). Now completing her third year, she has just been accepted into post-graduate Medicine and enjoyed the chance to volunteer as a tour guide for students visiting ANU in 2022. "It was a privilege to be able to pass on my advice to the current crop of students as they begin to make their own tertiary choices ... and to offer them my continued assistance if they end up enrolling at ANU themselves," she said.


The Victorian tour began at the University of Melbourne, which is notable for the Melbourne Curriculum Model - a broader choice of subjects within each degree. This was followed by a visit to Monash University, which has been rated 10th in Australia for graduate employability. "Going to Melbourne really helped me prioritise my choices," said Kalara (Year 11). "Now I am pretty sure I want to do either Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Australian National University or Arts Law at the University of Melbourne. Wherever I go, I want to live on campus for the social opportunities it offers."


The students who headed north-east visited the University of Queensland (St Lucia Campus) in Brisbane, where they attended mock classes in Psychology, Maths and International Humanitarian Law. At Bond University on the Gold Coast, they experienced a Finance class, the university's mock ‘Trading Room’ and a class on Architecture and a detailed tour of the student gym and other amenities. Dinner in local restaurants and the chance to stroll through both cities led to a better understanding of life at university in the Sunshine State. "I would love to one day work for the United Nations or pursue a career as a humanitarian lawyer, and studying at Bond University is an option really worth considering," said Gretel (Year 11).


The tour to the University of New England in Armidale and the University of Newcastle featured diverse schedules and the chance to experience disciplines such as health and medicine. The students attended workshops and mock lectures, as well as tours of campus accommodation and student services. As on the other tours, they ate in college dining halls, explored the accommodation facilities and gained an understanding of the day-to-day university experience. 

"We find increasingly that students are considering more diverse discipline areas and are actively taking more positive risks with their tertiary destinations,” Ms McFetridge said. “The tours help them determine not only the best undergraduate course in their area of interest but the best cultural fit for their next academic destination. We are particularly grateful for the enthusiastic support of such a large number of young alumnae, whose insights really bring the tours to life.”

With so many diverse destinations and details to contend with, planning is already well underway for the March 2023 tour.