The Hello Future Travel Package, awarded to participating schools, supports young people to explore different educational avenues and become more informed on decisions post-school study.

Caldew School Year 9 learners visited a number of locations this February including a trip to Lancaster University. One of our Carlisle based Graduate Interns – Alex, attended the trip for additional support and to meet the learners.

Life on campus

We arrived on Lancaster University Campus at around 10:30 and kicked off the day with a campus tour which involved exploring core areas of the campus from student halls, to the market, along with the vast range of shops and food stalls available to students and staff and also the many study areas. If you’re in a bit of a rush in the morning with little time to get ready, not to worry, Lancaster University has a Costa which is great for a quick takeout coffee so you don’t miss out on that important seminar. If you want to grab a quick bite to eat, they even have a Greggs on Campus! Late for breakfast? Greggs. Lunchtime vegan sausage roll? Greggs.

Paths to higher education

After our tour, we had a ‘Moving Onwards to University’ talk with an experienced student ambassador. Here the students learned about what courses are available at university on a national scale and how many Higher Education Institutes there are. The ambassador told their journey to Higher Education which gave the learners an invaluable insight into the various paths there are to get to the university – don’t worry there are plenty of options!

The importance of achieving good grades at GCSE level was stressed to play a massive part in being able to progress onto the next level; learning skills that are needed in every job and piece of work you complete at University. The students were introduced to the concept of Higher Education and explored some of the benefits and reasons for attending university.

We then had lunch in the lecture room where learners had packed lunches but also had the freedom to explore what Lancaster University could offer, which some students obliged to! Some learners took the opportunity to explore the fresh food available from the food stalls on campus.

Life of a student

To complete the day we had a workshop titled ‘Life of a Student’. Learners were tasked in teams to write down the kind of things they would expect to take part in, and purchase, as a university student. Everything from bills, food, rent, and stationary. They also discussed societies they would like to join. They were astounded by the sheer quantity available and how relatively easy it is to start one of their own. Examples of these societies can be anything from appreciating the wonderful wizardry of Harry Potter, to watching Homer eat his ‘D’OH-nuts’ in the Simpsons Society! Student societies are essentially clubs that students have the freedom to create, the purpose of societies is to encourage the students to take a break from academia and can be a great way to socialise and make new friends in the spare time you have at university.

What did the learners enjoy?

The learners’ enjoyment of the day shined when speaking to current students and they could not believe the freedom that the University experience brings. The University students also expressed the independent responsibility you have by completing work, turning up to lectures and putting the time in towards the recommended reading materials – all essential skills in completing a degree and great life skills for your future!

Thinking of going to university?

Lancaster University has a range of upcoming online webinars offering more information of student life and accommodation from 30th March to 23nd April 2020; all completely FREE to attend! The webinars act as a virtual tour of everything Lancaster University has to offer. There are also campus visits available from May all the way to July for you to get a real-life feel for the University. Check out their website now for more information on how to book on to one of these sessions at:

Want to hear more from Lancaster University Tutors and Lecturers? Click ‘Academic Q&A’s’ on our resources page: