"WE love the Gong" became much more than a marketing slogan this week as students from Scone High and Muswellbrook High schools combined to make the long return trip to the University of Wollongong.
"I would have to rate the University of Wollongong as a 10 out of 10," said Scone High Year 11 pupil Ben Cropper.
"The campus is great, the buildings, classrooms, accommodation and bushland setting, which are all close to the beaches, were all very impressive."
His classmate Nicholas Fraser agreed.
"It was a long trip, but well worth it," he said.
"The day we spent there really helps to kick start your thinking about university options as many of my friends are now talking about uni because of this excursion."
Youngsters and staff from both schools, Scone and Muswellbrook, experienced life as students, eating lunch from the various university providers, followed by extensive campus excursions in smaller groups.
This included tours of accommodation and lecture theatre presentations on the differences between school and university, recent changes to entry schemes, scholarships and housing.
"I would like to thank the teachers of both schools and the University of Wollongong for the opportunity to visit the campus," Scone High School principal Brian Drewe said.
"The enquiry it has created from our students about university shows that, while excursions such as these often involve longer distances to travel for rural schools, nothing really beats learning about your options first-hand."