Advice for Older Students

You are never too old to learn. But you can be too old for school excursions. When you walk onto the campus grounds to face a plethora of lectures, exams, reports and frenetic cram sessions, you rightly relegate the humble and jovial school trip to the recesses of your memory.

But, the fact is colleges and universities do have their form of excursions. Since the expectations of these are necessarily different to those of schools, and because it is all the more vital to make the most of them for your course, it is valuable to know how best to prepare for these pedagogical journeys.

Consider them a class

School excursions are beloved because they are a break from the routine of the classroom. It is tempting not to resist the urge to likewise consider an educational tour an escape from the repetitive schedule of lectures. But you are far better off to consider them tantamount to a class. This is because they will be designed to impart an equal amount of testable information, simply through a different, more hands-on medium.

Take the initiative

While on an educational tour through college or university you may find yourself visiting a rehabilitation centre, inspecting the fuselage of an aircraft, or learning from an artist at a studio. It depends on your vocation. Regardless, you are expected to exemplify the ethos that distinguishes university learning from school studies – that of independent discovery. Just as you must take responsibility for your own progress on campus, you must take initiative to hunt out relevant knowledge on these trips rather than expect it all to be handed to you.

Spend money wisely

When you embark on an excursion to the castles, battlefields or coasts of Europe as a school student, your wallet is usually fairly light. When you set off as a young adult, you have more financial freedom. But this should not entail financial recklessness on an educational tour. If you want to visit the Dutch coast on holiday, take a holiday. But if you are travelling to learn about music, art, science of any other subject, your money should be invested in a way that doesn’t distract you from the assessment that will come once the trip is done.

Be aware of your obligations

Part of adulthood is learning that with greater power comes greater responsibility. Any educational tour when you were a child would have put the weight of responsibility firmly on your guardians, but do not expect your tutors or lecturers to babysit you when you leave the campus grounds. It is important to know that not only are you expected to keep yourself safe and out of trouble, the university has limited liability and responsibility in bailing you out of any trouble that you may bring on your own head.