Once you are a full citizen, there’s no reason why you can’t have your own banner.
The most difficult part of the academy (In my opinion) is knowing the history and traditions of your own nation. All the info is there on the Wiki, and there are a few tales you’ll learn when on the field.
The other parts of the academy actually get you ready for life on the field. The fighting part is about safety - but one you know that (It’s easy), then its actually learning to fight well. No matter what skills you buy at character creation, nothing compares to someone who is physically a decent combatant.
The other aspects are about other things on the field - how Magic works, what the different Virtues are, What the Synod, Conclave, Bourse and Senate are and what they do. I remember back in the early days I spoke to some academy students about Trading - What the materials look like, how to buy slightly cheaper and sell for slightly more, what all the coins are etc.
But yeah, give the New Players team a cheeky email - They’ll be able to officially answer your questions!