Category Archives: Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services

Hospitality Management, Management of Service Business

Boa tarde from the sunny Lisbon!

I’m studying in Universidade Europeia, one of the few private universities in Lisbon. Studying here is a bit different from what I’m used to in TAMK. Here I have school a few hours every day with different subjects and professors, whereas in TAMK we have one or two subjects per period. I have classes in Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality.

In TAMK we also do more practical work, when the lessons here feel like the lessons I had in the high school, with teacher doing most of the speaking and trying to explain things. All my courses are in English and most people here speak English very well.

img_2749Portuguese people are really friendly and laidback, but also a bit impatient. You can see that every day if you’re walking in a city, when people cross the street whenever they can or when the drivers use the car horns much more than is needed.

The Erasmus activity in Lisbon is really good. There are at least three Erasmus organizations who all arrange parties, BBQ’s and trips to all over Portugal, and to Spain and Morocco too! I have been on these trips to Sintra, Braga, Guimarães, Gerês, Nazaré, Berlengas, Obidós and Torres Vedras (Carnival!).I wish we had so many trips for the Erasmus students in Tampere too.

By myself, I visited the Azores, which belong to Portugal. I still haven’t gone to Madeira, although my Madeiran roommates tell me it’s heaven on earth.

My most favourite thing here is to drink coffee or wine in a miradouro, a viewpoint where you have really nice views over the red roofs. There are many in Lisbon. The city really has a rough style of beauty, with lots of graffitis, street art, old houses and narrow tiled streets.img_2412 img_0922 img_2443

As the summer is here, the temperature can rise up and over +30C, which is insane to a white Finnish person like me. Luckily there are beaches, terraces and all kind of activity you can do outside. Also, many flowers and trees are blooming! Even the night is warm to me.img_2814 img_2781 img_2762

One memorable thing for me will be a volunteer trip my school arranged to Setúbal, which is south from Lisbon. We were in a beach, collecting the plastic waste from the beaches. I really love the ocean and the plastic pollution has always stressed me out, so it was nice to help, even a bit. Afterwards we could enjoy the beaches.img_2639 img_2656 img_2675

Lisbon and Portugal will surely have a place in my heart. As my friend said, Lisbon is a state of mind.

Com amor,

Noora

Where the craic is mighty!

Ireland, the land where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible!

They say that times fly when you’re having fun – Which is very true in my case. I was almost five months in Ireland having the most wonderful time in my life and can’t believe it’s over now!

Athlone and river Shannon
Athlone and river Shannon

I lived in a little town Athlone, in the midlands. School where I studied is Athlone Institute of Technology and I liked it very much. Lecturers were very friendly and there was a lot of exchange students from different countries. The courses I chose were about tourism and hotels, also including revenue management and professional/enterprise development and I liked those courses a lot. There was four other erasmus students in my class so it was nice to study also with Irish students.  I took a English for studying skills- course to support my studies and I think those classes were my favourite. The English lecturers were so friendly, always so positive and welcoming and it was nice to learn with so many different nationalities and have interesting conversations during the classes.

Department of Hospitality Tourism and Leisure studies
Department of Hospitality Tourism and Leisure studies
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

One thing I found challenging there. In Finland we do most of the assigments in teams, but here almost everything was individual. First it was hard, but by time it became easier and I found the best ways to study. We had to do different  reports, project, wordbook, essays and at least five different presentations and after submitting the last one, I felt so proud and relieved. Also the final examination weeks were hard trying to read as much as could and exam situations were different compared to Finland.

During the semester, I got so many new friends and spend amazing time with them. Many times when we had free time,  we spend time in a pub next to our apartment playing pool and enjoying Guinness or going to parties organized by International society or other erasmus students.  I think that always people who you meet wherever you go, makes your time there. That semester wouldn’t been the same without all those lovely people.

Cliffs of moher
Cliffs of moher

During that time, I saw a lot of beautiful Ireland. And I  really mean beautiful. Green scenery everywhere, numerous mountains and cliffs, fields with sheeps and the coastal roads with ocean views. Seriously breathtaking country which I fell in love. Definitely going back maybe after few years to experience the whole Wild Atlantic way and other cities I didn’t see.

Wicklow National
Wicklow National
Pub in Dublin
Pub in Dublin
Game of Thrones- tour in Belfast and role playing
Game of Thrones- tour in Belfast and role playing

I made trips when having free time. International society organized few trips to erasmus students to Cliffs of Moher and Wicklow national park. Also in St. Patrick’s day, there was three buses full of exchange students going to Dublin to celebrate. With friends I made trips to Dublin, Galway and to Belfast and all those cities were so nice. Including to our courses, we made fieldtrips to Dublin, Westport and Clonmacnoise visiting different attractions and learning about tourism.  Everywhere was a lot of activities and attractions for tourists and sometimes it was difficult to choose what to do and see.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Ballintoy Harbour
Ballintoy Harbour

To people who are thinking about going to Ireland, I can only suggest that lovely country! Not only because the scenery, but also because the Irish people, culture and way of living!

City with soul

Hello and greetings from Seoul, South Korea!

For now I’ve been studying in Kyung Hee University for one month. My school is ranked as 15th best university, from 191 universities in South Korea. My major is hospitality management, and courses I study are “principle of cooking”, “basics of Korean language”, “cultural tourism” and “theory of marketing”. I’m pretty happy with courses I finally got, because they are all really different with different teachers, so I don’t get bored during school days.

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Kyung Hee University campus

One huge different to studying in Finland is that every class takes only one hour and 15 minutes! Also it’s a lot of lectures, and not much interaction between students. I think it’s nice for a change, but I couldn’t study like that all the time for 3,5 years.

Studying in here is also pretty competitive, from getting courses to your final grade. I was lucky to get in almost all the courses I originally wanted to take,  but there were lots of troubles on the way. There’s not that many seats to all of the courses, so you really need to be ready when course registration opens. Also, on some courses, professor can give only certain amount of A:s for students, and that might effect on students behavior during course, for example not to help each others that easily etc..

On first week, one professor told us “exchange student compete against other exchange students, and Korean students compete against other Korean students”. I was really shocked about his comment, because that’s something you would never hear teacher to say in Finland! For us it’s always just about competing against your self and giving your best.

On first week it was very common for professors to say “this course is really difficult, so I recommend you to consider if you really want to take this course”. That felt pretty ridiculous for me, because I’ve got used to teachers say for us that “yes, this might be a difficult subject, but we will learn it together”.

My Korean language studies are proceeding well, I have already learn Korean letters. Next step is to learn basic phrases to help my daily life here. It’s surprising that they don’t speak English lot in here.

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After all cultural differences, I’m enjoying school a lot! Usually, I don’t get homework from classes and my schooldays are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, so I have a lot of free time here! I’ve made friends with girls from my dormitory, who I like to explore Seoul and experience all interesting and new things with.

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I like Seoul because there’s so many neighborhoods and they all have their own character, if it’s a good area for shopping, eating or clubbing for example. Weather is also getting nicer all the time, I cant wait for summer in here! One thing I’m really looking forward to is having picnic at Han-river and spending all day outside. Now we are all a bit sick, because we spend long times outside but especially when sun sets weather gets quite cold.

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My Korean friend Jisoo has shown me lots of cool places in Seoul, I got to know her from “Each One Teach One” course last year in Tampere!

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Hiking at Bukhansan National park

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Me & my friends at local spa, Jimjilbang

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Night view of Seoul from Namsan park

Greetings from Madrid

A week ago I came back to Finland from my amazing trip to Madrid. The past few months have been great. I have met lots of fun and interesting people and I really enjoyed Madrid and its beautiful neighborhoods.  Most of the time in Madrid I hung out with my roo20161007_181947m mates because I was very lucky to have a really fun group of people living in my flat. We explored Madrid together and went hiking and did kinds of stuff.15250920_10154894549096661_6036998902250316147_o

One of the best travels was our road trip in December with three of my friends. We rented a car from Madrid and drove to Granada-Malaga-Gibraltar-Seville and back to Madrid.

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A day trip to Cercedillas was a fun trip with my two dutch an one American friend. We hiked for 6 hours.

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Studying in Madrid at Rey Juan Carlos University was more work than I expected. We did lots of group works and presentations and sometimes it felt that they took too much time. On the other hand I worked in groups with local people from Madrid and other Erasmus students so It was also fun to experience working in such international groups. All my classes were taught in English and I was pleasantly surprised how good English the teachers spoke. The university was 30 minutes metro ride away outside of the center of Madrid in a neighborhood called Vicálvaro. The campus was nice and small had two restaurants where we usually worked after the classes.

I think the main difference in studying there was the courses. At Madrid the courses were more practical and more focused in one subject like marketing or microeconomics. In TAMK our courses feel more like there are lots of subjects in one course and its harder to keep track what the studies are actually about. So I kind of preferred the way in Madrid because it felt that I learned a lot more.

Greetings from Sunny Cyprus!

My exchange is coming on the end but it has been full of experiences. Cyprus is a sunny island where people love food and resting. I came in the beginning of October and during the whole month the temperature was still almost 30 degrees and I loved it! After October it has been getting lower but still in January during the daytime it can be very warm when the Sun is shining.

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I have been studying Hospitality Tourism Management in a school named Higher Hotel Institute Cyprus which is located in the capital of Cyprus: Nicosia. The school is a very small, only 270 students and I have been living in a residence of the school.

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In the beginning of my exchange the school and studying was difficult for me because of the language. My English wasn’t so good but it has definitely got better and that’s one thing i’m very happy for. I have lessons from Monday to Friday, some days only two hours and some days five hours. The lessons are in normal class rooms with chairs and tables (not in auditoriums like we mostly have in TAMK).

I have nine courses and specially the ones about traveling and tourism had been very interesting because we don’t have that kind of lessons in TAMK. During the autumn we had tests, projects and mid-term exams. Now in January we are doing our final examinations. So right now i’m studying and reading a lot…

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The studies are different here than in Finland because the number of people in one class is smaller and the teaching is more like ”old-style”. But mostly I have liked it and I have learnt many new things.

When thinking about the size of the school, there are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are for example that the teachers know all the students and the relationships between them are close and friendly. The disadvantages are related mostly to being as an exchange student here. Here is only one another exchange student with me and the school doesn’t offer any activities for us and they didn’t tell anything about the events that Erasmus is organizing here.

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In the beginning of my exchange I used lot of my free time to go to the beaches and traveling around. I visited all the ”main cities” and went also to the mountains. I also used my time (and money) to get familiar with the local foods and drinks. People here really love to eat and I can say the same of myself. I had tried all the traditional dishes and of course beers, wines, spirits…

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Cyprus is a dry but beautiful island in the middle of Mediterranean Sea and people are open-minded and helpful. The culture is totally different than in Finland which has been hard for me sometimes but it had also taught me a lot. I have learnt new things of myself and met so many new people.

So, I already wrote three final exams and six are still coming… Hope I will pass all the courses!

Hallo und Grüß Gott aus Deutschland!

It has been lovely spring in this year while I have lived in here German. Spring and summer came quick and I have enjoyed it very much! Life here has been treating me well.

Studying in University is different compared to my studies in Finland. I would say in generally learning here is more based on academic facts. We have many lectures and studying is independent. Getting good marks needs many hours of learning. Professors says that they will teach us only basics but we have to be able to think independent way and form our own opinion. They want us to consider and make up our own conclusion.  I believe that thinking outside of the box and is true learning. I have mainly taken courses from business field in university.

linna

Our international student organization at school has arranged many trips for us. I have took a part many those occasions and the most memorable was Frühlingsfest, which has been hold on Stuttgart annually in spring time. I have also travelled in French and Switzerland and of course here in German. I have met many people from different backgrounds and cultures and it has been unforgettable. I have made German and international friends and I’m sure we will keep in touch also in the future. This time here has been ones in a lifetime experience without no doubt. I am happy and proud of myself that I had courage to do this and it turn out better than I have ever would imagine. So go to unknown, be brave and live your life full!

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G’Day from Down Under!

Heey it’s Laura from Australia!

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I did my practical training in Darwin Australia in an event managing and organizing company called Agentur. I thought I’d share my experience with you since it was quite awesome.

I had never even heard of a place called Darwin before I finally got an internship there. Since it’s so close to the equator there’s only two seasons: dry and wet. I was lucky enough to be there during the dry season when it’s “not so hot and humid”. Coming from Finland it was still pretty hot for me. Temperatures varied between 30°C and 35°C during the day and at night it was between 23°C and 27°C. It took a while to get used to such warm weather but I wasn’t complaining, sun shined everyday! Well the first day I arrived there the wet season had just ended and it was pouring, I got soaked and hoped that that wasn’t the way it was going to be. And luckily it wasn’t, sun shined every day!

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On my way to work!

As I said I was working in a company called Agentur. They organize and put together events, galas, awards and conferences. My job was to answer the phone at our office, help out at the events, put together PowerPoint presentations for the events and make drafts of quest lists and run sheets, taking notes and running errands. I also participated in some of the meetings and took part in checking out the sites for the events. We had a little office puppy, little Yorkshire terrier Ares, the God of War, who I took for walks around the beautiful Cullen Bay area.

I  took part in planning four different events: the CEO Sleepout, Territory Day, Northern Territory Literary Awards and the National Indigenous Music Awards. It was great to get to go backstage and behind the scenes of these events and I really enjoyed all of them. Some of them were smaller and some bigger. It was funny to notice that even if the event was quite small it took plenty of effort to put together. There’s so much you need to take in consideration when planning an event! It really got me by surprise and there were things I would’ve never thought.

20160701_185913Territory Day sunset at Mindil Beach

I was staying with a host in her 2 bedroom apartment. She was traveling for six weeks so for that time I had the whole place for my self. The apartment was quite close to the city center and being so, very close to the nightlife! Since I didn’t have a car (even if I did, I don’t think I would’ve been driving that much.. These crazy Aussies are driving on the wrong side of the road!) I didn’t get around as much as I would’ve liked. The 3 months stuck in the city with pretty much nothing else than bars around got a little boring for me. Have to admit though, got my fair share of partying on Mitchell Street.. Luckily I made friends who took me to amazing places. We did a day trip to the Litchfield National Park to see the waterfalls, rock holes, termite mounds and other amazing views. That was definitely one of the highlights of my stay.

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Waterfalls & a huge termite mound

20160802_170552at the Litchfield National Park

I also loved the Mindil Markets just down the hill from my place. I really fell in love with the Darwin sunsets and at Mindil they were absolutely amazing. The markets also had food stands from all over the world. It was my Sunday tradition to go to the beach, watch the sunset and get myself some delicious food.

Darwin is located right at the top end of Australia in the Northern Territory. It is called the crocodile state of Australia so you would see all these signs warning about crocodiles where ever there’s water. It wasn’t recommended to swim in the ocean because of the salt water crocodiles. So I didn’t go for a swim. It was a shame because the ocean and the beaches looked so inviting!

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I did some traveling down the East Coast (Cairns, Airlie, Whitsundays, Sydney) after my training period and I totally fell in love with Australia. Hopefully I get to come back here one day for a proper backpacking experience!

IMG_20160701_215913No worries mate, cheers!

Laura

Work hard, play hard

Bongu everyone! ( Bongu means good morning in Maltese )

It has been really crazy 3 months here at Malta and I still have a little bit less than month left!

So I’m doing my internship in language school named Sprachcaffe. This schools exact location is in area named Pembroke. Basically we have student of almost every age from all around the world here so I had many different kind of adventures with many different kind of people.


For the first I’m going to tell you about my practical training and later about my activities here in party paradise Malta.

When I arrived here 3 months ago I thought that I’ll be working in the bistro, BUT! I found myself sitting behind a counter of reception. I had to learn everything from the first steps to further and actually one thing surprised me so badly.. I had no idea about vocabulary of reception and office-working, because so far I never needed these words on my life.

From my first day till now, my working has been sitting behind the reception, serving incoming and out going students, making bookings and being as a “being” who knows information about everything. The latest one is actually something what students thinks. They come to reception to ask about all kind of things and when I say all, I really mean ALL. At the beginning it was really restraining when I had to try to learn everything fast and also remember where to find correct information, but nowadays I can actually remember many kind of things that usually students are asking and I also know where to find what I’m looking for.

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The working culture of Malta and Finland is totally different or that’s how I think so.

Here at Sprachcaffe almost everyone is working as individual, but not as a group. When your shift starts and you put your money inside the cash box, you’re the ruler of the shift and everyone has to do things on your way. In Finland if I’m working with someone, we have always tried to find a way to deal with every situation together and make the working pleasurable for all of us.

Then also when your shift ends it really ends. No one cares about anything when their shift ends. Few times when I tried to ask something from my colleagues, usually they answered that “I don’t care, because I’m not working“. Sometimes it is really good thing to be able to separate your personal life and working, but for me that way to act is foolish. How much energy do you need to use to answer on a simple question just to help your colleague with the situation?

In the end this experience has been really nice and these hardships haven’t been affecting at all. It was just something which was really difficult to deal with at the very beginning.


I think that is all about my working so lets move into more interesting part! My free time!

I’ve done much so far that it’s really difficult to think that in which order I should explain about everything. Maybe the most common way to spent your time here at Malta is to spend your day time at the pool or beach or go for sightseeing and at the evening start drinking and partying.

As I told at the day time people likes to spend their time at the pool or swimming so basically I have done the same. Here at Malta there is many different kind of beaches and places to go to swim and one of my favorite is just next to me. Pembroke Rocky beach. It’s just normal rocky seashore with few ladders, but those few places to swim are so nice! I took my snorkels with me to use them there and the view was so awesome! Many different kind of fishes and sea animals. After that I have been carrying my snorkels with me on every beach to see the bottom of the sea. So far the most impressive place has been cave in the Blue Lagoon.

This one is from Rocky Beach of Pembroke

Blue Lagoon in Comino ( also you can see that cave in this picture )

On my free time I also went to see different kind places for example: Capital city of Malta; Valletta, Old City of Mdina; where some scenes of Games of Thrones has been recorded, Catacombs in Rabbat and Gozo which is an island next to Malta.

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Azure Window Gozo

Azure Window in Gozo

If you guys ever come to Malta you should go to visit Paceville and Cafe Del Mar, because they are really good party places! I have much to tell about them, but maybe it’s not wise to write about them here.

I chose the title, because that is the way of living  here. You work a lot and after that you party a lot!


I enjoyed my adventure at Malta really much, only because I met so awesome characters! I made the the line art of my story, but they gave me the colors to make it alive.

Nakar iktar tard ( See you later ) and I hope that you enjoyed reading this one!

尾道へようこそ! Welcome to Onomichi!

Konnichiwa! I am currently living and doing my practical training in Onomichi, a small seaside port city in the Hiroshima prefecture, in Japan. I am almost done with my training period of three months, and with heavy heart I will soon have to go back home. Onomichi has become a second home for me, and I feel like I know it like the back of my hand by now.

I am working at a small, japanese styled guesthouse called Anago No Nedoko, with a cafe located on the side. The guesthouse has two dormitories and two private rooms, with space for 25-30 guests. The cafe has seats for 16 guests, and the guesthouse’s breakfast is served there. My work consists of cleaning the guesthouse rooms as well as preparing the breakfast. The workdays here are usually about 6 hours long, starting from preparing the breakfast and then cleaning the guesthouse. There is another helper working here with me, so I don’t need to work alone. Thursdays and Fridays are free from work, and I have made many trips around Japan.

I’ve made trips to the nearby islands, as well as bigger cities such as Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo. I love the different atmospheres these places have: Onomichi is a very peaceful, small city, compared to the hectic and never-ending Tokyo! Though I do love both cities very much. The people in Japan are very friendly and helpful, and I can always rely on them in a time of need.

The weather in Onomichi can be brutal, with 30-35°C with very high humidity. You really have to watch out for a heatsroke, and remember to drink enough. When I arrived, there was a rainy season that lasted for about a week, during which it rained almost nonstop. After that the “real” japanese summer began. The summer is very different from the summer in Finland.

Unfortunately, my training period is soon over and I will have to make my way back to Finland. These three months have been absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to visit Japan again!

 

Hola y saludos desde España!

I do my internship in south Spain, in Benalmádena. This city is new for me, so I have never been here before. I have been two years ago in this area “Costa del Sol”, but this is first time in this city (Benalmádena).  I have been here two months and I have left one month.

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I’m working in a small real estate agency / apartment hotel. The company sells and rent apartment. I take care of the rental.  This company is Finnish, but we have international customers, for example from Marocco, United Kingdom, Ireland and from Spain. All of our employees are Finnish and our working languages are Finnish, English and Spanish.

My working hours are from Monday to Friday, when this reception/office is open. So every weekend I have free. My job is very varied. For example, I take care of reservations by e-mail and by phone. Of course someday we will have customers also in the office to ask for available apartments. I check the state of the apartments, I clean someday and I add the apartments/villas to internet to our website.

Like I said earlier I have every weekend free and of course every evening, so I have quite much time to spend spare time. And because I’m in Spain I go very often to the beach and relax there. And some day here is so hot (+35 – +45°C), so I can’t do like anything, then swimming in the sea is the only option. I have visited the nearby towns, in Fuengirola, in Malaga and in Marbella. I did in one weekend also on excursion to Gibraltar, there takes time by bus about 2,5 hours.

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I have really enjoyed time here. This life is so much different than in Finland. In summer time here is always warm and sunny. Here is very good food, friendly people and always something to do. Here is a beautiful landscape, nice sights and a wonderful sea.