In my second year of my degree I was feeling a little exhausted. I was over the repetitive content and assignments within my units and felt the need to switch things up a little. So I began addressing my course map, searching for more appealing electives.
I was drawn to the possibility of applying for a study tour. Going overseas and studying at the same time? It seemed too good to be true.
Last November I was lucky enough to go with Deakin University on the Screen & Design Study Tour to Japan (which also happened to be my first ever overseas trip!). It was hands-down the highlight of time at university and it’s an experience that I’ll remember forever.
If you need more convincing, below are my top five reasons you should go on a university study tour.
It’s credit bearing
This is by far the best reason to go on a study tour and if this doesn’t make you want to go on one, I’m not sure what will. I was ecstatic when I realised I could travel overseas through a unit that would count towards my degree. Learning and travelling is an opportunity you’ll most likely never have again post-university. Also as a graduate, where job opportunities are highly-competitive, it’s important to engage in activities like this outside your regular studies to set you apart.
It’s an invaluable experience
It’s a chance to experience a different culture in a more educational way. I got to attend exclusive art galleries, museums and even help curate Deakin’s own art exhibition. These are all opportunities I may not have got to experience through alternative individually sourced travel.
It’s kind of like a semi-holiday
It can be hard to travel while finishing your undergraduate degree. Study tours are the perfect fit as they allow you to travel while still keeping up with your studies. Mind you, the assignments are more exciting and instead of them stretching out across a whole trimester, my two assignments were completed in the 17 days while I was in Japan. It was the quickest and most enjoyable unit ever.
My draw dropped when I realised you could put the trip on HECS. I got a loan for the amount of the trip, meaning I didn’t have to pay anything at all upfront. Also, I managed to score one of 10 grants which provided me with a bonus $1000 worth of spending money. Not only that, but Deakin sources great deals with its travel agents who take on the responsibility of organising travel insurance, meals, transport, flights, accommodations and entry to attractions.
It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people
Personally, I’ve found it difficult to connect with people throughout my time at university. Most days I come to my class and then leave straight after, giving me limited time for socialising. However, on a study tour, you are with the same bunch of people for a long, continuous period of time. I got to work with students from other campuses and creative disciplines which was really valuable. Learning with people who are into the same thing as you is both rewarding and fun. Throughout assignment work, free-time and planned activities it’s basically inevitable that friendships will be formed.
Deakin offers a vast array of study tours for students from multiple disciplines. With applications closing this Sunday May 13, it’s now time to get yourself organised. I submitted mine two days before cut-off so it’s never too late to get your application together!