Forty six senior students from Benalla secondary schools had the opportunity to learn more about university life and study options during a recent visit to Melbourne. Two buses set off bright and early, one headed to LaTrobe University, then on to RMIT; the other to Deakin and Monash.
Remoteness from big cities, lack of reliable transport options and reduced economic circumstances mean that country students often struggle to explore all available options for further study. How to choose a university course, fund their university studies and how to find a place to live can be challenging.
Teaching staff from both schools, as well as Tomorrow Today staff, accompanied the tours. Each bus was greeted by former Benalla students who are now at university. This provided a great opportunity for the Year 11 and 12 students to make links to former locals who live on campus and are experiencing university life.
Benalla P-12 College Careers teacher, Kellie Cairncross, said the Uni bus tours provided Benalla students with an insight into University life that traditional Open Days don’t cover.
“Catching up with past students is invaluable and our students got to hear what it is like to transition to University from a small country town”, she said.
“The tours were comprehensive and very well organised. It was a fantastic day. Students learnt not just about courses and accommodation options but also they got a feel for the different campuses and what they had to offer.”
Tomorrow Today provided funding for the buses and coordinated the day in partnership with Benalla P-12 College and FCJ College.
Surveys completed by students on the way home showed that most had gained information that would help them make an enrolment decision later on. Additional student comments about the day included: “I have got a better understanding of life at uni and the courses available”, “I know more about costs and accommodation“ and “It gave me a good insight to the type of uni I want to go to”.