A group of High School students has spent the past week in Canada exploring universities, as well as exploring the cities in which the universities are located. The group has spent time in Kingston, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal exploring several different universities in the region, including Queens University, Ottawa University, Carlton University, and McGill University. There are many benefits to such a trip, and while the long term goals are obvious in
terms of helping students choose a university down the road, the immediate benefits probably outweigh the long term benefits. That is, through such experiences to explore their future now, students are exposed to new ideas, options, programs, and possibilities that serve to motivate their current studies.
The key to student success over the course of High School comes from the increasing shift within students as they come to learn for themselves, fueled by an internal drive to learn, as well as being increasing fueled by extrinsic motivators that are self-determined. Exploratory trips such as these students are on now in Canada serve to motivate them intrinsically and extrinsically as they progress through High School. We do a great deal in ISD to expose students to university and potential careers thereafter, but trips like this turn the
abstract into the concrete. While not every student is able to attend such trips through the school year, there may be ways during vacations that such explorations can be facilitated, and if at all possible, regardless of your child’s age, please take advantage. We never know what experience will ignite a passion and provide that motivation to pursue a university of choice, and we will do well be our students through each additional experience we provide them … even if it means they come to realize they don’t want to live in a city full of snow!