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What to expect: My International School Program Part 3

What to expect: My International School Program Part 3


Charlotte Penhall finishes her blog series on International School Programs with some helpful advice on applying and attending your overseas trip-of-a-lifetime!

Written by Charlotte Penhall

Now for the final part in my series!

The main thing I enjoyed about this international school program was getting to go to another country.

I know it may not be that big, but considering that the first time I got on a plane in my 20 years of life was to the other side of the world, I was so excited. 

I know a lot of people would take a chance like this just to have a holiday, but I actually really enjoyed the program itself.

I was always engaged and listening in to what we were doing and I loved being able to visit the different facilities Merseyside Police had.

The lecturers we had speak to us were really nice and had some great things to say about their respective fields. I also really enjoyed meeting a lots of new people from different countries.

After the program finished, a friend and I went down to London for a few days before we flew back to Australia.

I loved it.

Being able to see a lot of landmarks I had only ever seen in movies or on the news was breathtaking.

The photos don’t do them justice

Even though I really enjoyed my trip and the program, there wasn’t anything quite like the feeling of touching back down in Australia, getting to hug my dad, and being able to sleep in my own bed again.

London sights!

What I learnt

I’ll tell you the top two.

  1. Merseyside Police is a force to be reckoned with.

    Even though they are a force around eleven times smaller than the Metropolitan Police, the training that Merseyside Police undertake is great.

    They are able to de-escalate situations just by talking most of the time, whereas Australian Police may be likely to pull out their firearm in the same situation.

    Merseyside Police often had officers travelling to teach other forces what they do.

    For whatever reason, if I don’t get into the NSW Police, or need a change of scenery, I definitely want to try and join Merseyside Police.
  2. You have to have a degree under your belt to join the police.

    While I can’t remember if this was just the case of Merseyside or all United Kingdom Police forces, I was shocked to find out that you actually have to complete a degree to be able to join the police.

    There are certain degrees that you have to complete; they can’t just be random ones.

    I loved this idea because it was kind of what I’m doing with my Policing and Public Safety degree. 
Charlotte Penhall in London

What I’d recommend for other people interested in applying

The only recommendation you really need to listen to if you want to go on a similar trip is just to read this blog series!

I’m joking, I’m joking.

Reading this blog series is definitely a good start if you’re interested in applying for trips like these because it shows you the trip from a student point of view, and it can give you a very rough outline of what to expect.

Another recommendation from me is to try and talk to your Course Director and subject coordinators about the trip.

There is a good chance they have either been on that trip before or had students go from their class.

In my case, I actually had a lecturer who was an ex-British police officer, so I was able to get a lot of information from him; my Course Director was going with us and had been before. 

Following on from that, especially if you’ve never flown internationally before, don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions about the process.

If you’re not understanding something, make sure to clear it up before you go because once the plane takes off, you can’t turn around.

Also, make sure you are prepared, don’t leave things to the last minute!

Finally, have fun.

You were chosen to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Yes, you are mainly there for your education, but you are also there to gain life experience.

Explore the cities you pass through and meet new people.

What you learn during your trip could change your life.

Thank you again for reading this blog series, and I hope to see your contributions in the future.

The London Eye

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