Laura Sutton: A Student Insight


Author of “The Scrimpy Student” blog, Laura Sutton discusses travel and provides insights into the opportunities it provides students with.


Do you travel often?
In the past no, but in my second year of university I began to get itchy feet, I’d spent
so long learning about different places, cultures and landscapes, I just wanted to get
out and see some of them and that’s what I’ve been working on ever since!

For what reasons have you travelled before? (e.g with school trip, family
holiday, trip with friends, volunteering)

Prior to my year abroad the only reason I had ever jumped on a plane was either for
a holiday or for a school/uni trip now I’m working abroad and on days off I’m
travelling just because I can.

What do you study and where?
I’m a final year BSc Geography with International Experience student at Bangor

Does your course offer you the opportunity to travel? Do you wish there
were more opportunities to travel?

I always wish there were more chances to travel. Everyone should have the
opportunity to travel, the world is an amazing place. On my course specifically, we
take several trips over the three years, many modules take advantage of the
beautiful Welsh countryside but we also take a trip to South West England to look at
the impacts of mining and in third year we have the option to travel to either
Barcelona or Tenerife to experience the culture and landscape of these beautiful

What has your favourite educational trip been? (Be that in school,
university or sports teams)

It has to be our trip to Barcelona. I loved seeing Gaudi’s work and I fell in love with
the modernism style. We spent the week experiencing different aspects of the area,
looking at Catalonian identity, the development of Barcelona and the influence of
Gaudi and Modernism. It’s also the first place I discovered how fun bike tours are.

Would you say that educational trips alongside your studies have
strengthened your engagement with certain subjects?

There’s a pretty awesome quote by Benjamin Franklin ‘“Tell me and I forget, teach
me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” It’s something that I
wholeheartedly agree with, I think travelling to places you are learning about in a
class can only be a good thing. I know it isn’t always possible, it would be pretty
difficult to pack up a class of 10 year olds to Egypt to see the pyramids but why not
go to a museum to see some artefacts? School shouldn’t be about just remembering
stuff for tests, it’s should be about learning about the world and understanding it.

Do you think that travel gives you a better understanding of countries,
culture and relatable topic areas?

Yes! I do think people should make the effort to really integrate themselves into the
new culture, try and eat at places where locals eat. I think
a country’s culture is shown in it’s food. When we headed to Vienna we asked the
hotel staff for recommendations and asked where they eat out, we ended up in a
very bizarre little underground restaurant. We would never have found it on our own,
it was cheap and local food.

What have you learnt from travel?
Travelling can be challenging, whether it be
language barriers, getting lost on public transport, missing flights or even just dealing
with a new currency, travelling is character building!

Do you think travel has had an effect on you? (Be it personal or

Definitely! My year abroad in the Czech Republic has helped me develop so many
invaluable skills that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop anywhere else.

Do trips in or outside of education have any effect on your enthusiasm

Again, definitely! I’ve always been the kind of person who is eager to not only learn
but understand. I love going and experiencing something and being able to ask
questions. In an educational context, I love learning from others, not only teachers or
lecturers but from, museum staff, a tour guide or even a waiter. Everyone has
something they can teach us. The more you travel, the more people you meet and
the more you can learn.

If you’re looking to travel in 2017, or would like to find out more information. Find out today at (associated to STA Travel)

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