"Great excursions, study trips abroad, lecturers with practical background, and the opportunity to study abroad."
It's better to travel 1000 metres than read 1000 books
This saying by Confucius illustrates the importance that we in the Higher Tourism and Recreation Education (HTRE) course place on the work experience our students do. You do that in the third year of the course and it can be done here in the Netherlands, but preferably in another country. At the moment, I am supervising two students doing their work experience in South Africa, one student who is in Nicaragua and one in Curacao. Work experience means you can put into practice much of the theory you have learnt in the classroom, but of course, your main experience is seeing how it really is in a particular (cultural) setting.
You are your own manager
There's a strong link between theory and practice in the HTRE course. Information transfer occurs mainly through projects; there is one project central to each period, and all activities emanate from this. What you learn during the lessons is put immediately into practice in the form of a project. In addition, you get to determine some parts of your studies. You are - as it were - your own manager.
Many students have to get used to this in the beginning. We want to turn our students into mature, professional, internationally orientated and smart service providers for the field of tourism, or for commercial positions in various other business sectors. In the third year, we prefer to steer our students towards work experience in tourism and recreation, our core-business. I myself worked abroad for eight years for a Swiss tour operator, and I needed these qualities to be able to perform my work.
Preparation for professional practice
In close consultation with the sector, we test continually the content of the lessons. We train our students thoroughly in order to equip them with the qualities and personal attributes that a tourism manger must have. That's why I give interview training to second year students. That's important for their work experience placement interviews and later on when they go job hunting. As student career coach for a group of first year students, I have a lot of contact with students who think it's great to relate their own story to their 'own supervisor'. The atmosphere at this Inholland location is informal, so we all get to know one another. What else have we to offer? Great excursions, study trips abroad, lecturers with a broad, practical background, and the opportunity to do work experience or study abroad.