Category Archives: Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services

Hospitality Management, Management of Service Business

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.

20161119_151013

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

IMG-20161120-WA0005

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.

14907608_10208803896079033_8174883265188000703_n

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.

14925521_10208803879118609_2389176975060492496_n

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…

14695500_10208803902079183_468813911814329344_n

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.

14910552_10208803882958705_4127184081656654612_n

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…

14956428_10208803879278613_1595318286961191806_n14947945_10208803887278813_970101660260237043_n

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!

lake

G’Day from Down Under!

Heey it’s Laura from Australia!

IMG_20160624_142207

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!

20160530_132319

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.

20160802_16433920160802_174139

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!

20160605_150414

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.

http://www.troll.me/images/dwight-schrute/listen-i-know-everything.jpg

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.

Mdina

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.

IMG_0955Palomapark3

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.

IMG_1286Gibis10

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.

Under the sun of beautiful Barcelona

 

barcelona 229barcelona 2 161

 

barcelona 2 302

I’m doing my event planning internship in Barcelona Spain.

The company is a media company that supplies different business solutions for its clients: online marketing/SEO, advertasing giant products and services for events, recruitment and training and website and multimedia creation. The company forms a group of companies with headquarters in Barcelona and they collaborate with marketing agencies, events agencies, communication agencies, hotels, restaurants, erasmus students, audiovisual companies and tv production companies. Our office is international so it is a great opportunity to work in a multicultural team and meet people all over the world.

 

Some of my company’s pics of the events

dpoint mustaevent blog 6eventtaikuri blogievent blog 5

So far I have done general tasks which are given to all interns, such as online marketing and blogging. I have been planning and creating social media campaigns, translated emails and created powerpoints of company’s services which will be sent to our clients in diffrent countries. At the same I have familiarised myself with all the services the company provides to clients. The company will participate in a big international congress which is arranged in February 2017 in Barcelona. The planning and arrangements for the congress have already started.

The rest of my internship I will be part of creating new events for our clients  in our venue and outdoor, conferences, sport events etc. I will also manage the existing requests of services for events that the company usually have.

I’m working part time, so I have a plenty of time to explore this amazing city and have a summer holiday at the same. Part time internship was hard to find but worth of all the effort.

barcelona 2 181 barcelona 2 111

I’m not travelling alone, I have my seven year old dauhgter with me. Working part time gives a great chance to balance the daily life and routines with work and to provide  my daughter to have her holiday as well. My daughter has a native english and spanish speaking nanny so my daughter has learned English really well.

barcelona 065 barcelona 063

We have enjoyed to live here. Our flat is in nice and quiet local area but still only 20 minutes away from the beach and the sight seeings. We live in the middle of Catalan culture so it has been such a great opportunity to improve my Spanish communicating with people in the local shops and restaurants. People are so open-minded, friendly and social. There is always something to talk about with strangers.

I’m coeliac but it hasn’t been a problem here at all.  I first thought it will be challenging to find suitable food for me but even in our local little grocery store had gluten free products available.

Gluten free and lactose free cakes

Gluten free and dairy free cakesbarcelona 2 033

We have visited so many interesting places, parks and sights, been on the beach and tasted local food. We are planning to make day trips outside Barcelona to Costa Brava and Montserrat.

I’m so happy to have two more months to live in this beautiful city which is full of opportunities!

 

Greetings from Oslo!

I’ve been working now for three weeks in Maaemo restaurant, and have one and a half weeks to go. Feeling a bit sad that I decided to stay in here only one month, but already miss home as well so it’s fine I think..
Restaurant is located in centre of Oslo, next to train station. It got its third Michelin star few months ago, first in Norway.

6tag-208996861-1275755920074020941_208996861

My working week starts in Tuesday and ends in Saturday. Every day we work from 10am to midnight. I’m working in snacks station, so we prepare many small dishes for dinner. Every day I’ll start my day preparing bowls for oyster dish. 20 bowls needs to be polished, filled with seaweed and oyster shells. After that I prepare tarts for king crab dish. Then we do everything else for what needs to be done on that day. On afternoon we clean the kitchen everywhere from ceiling to floor. Then it’s time for our break and staff meal. After the break we get every station ready for dinner service and have staff briefing. We get to plate every dish durig the service and have some dishes on our responsibility as well. In the evening it’s again time to cleand the kitchen and head back to home and get some rest for the next day.
Even though our days are long, you kind of get used to it.

6tag-190679264-1263368488949556337_190679264

I’ve learned lot of new techniques and recipes, and it’s nice to get a bit more challenging tasks and more responsibility all the time.

We have our days off on Sunday and Monday. Mostly I just try to relax during these days. I’ve been at the beach many times, last weekend we went to contemporary art museum and dinner with my work mates, also visited main island wich was really cool.

Workig culture compared to Finland is mostly the same in Norway. Many national holidays for example and similar working hours. Salarys are a lot higher compared to Finland, but obviously living costs are higher here as well.

In the restaurant I’m working everything of course very different because of high level, chefs work even more hours than what we do. Maaemo kitchen is very international, so I cant say that much of Norwegian working culture.

We pay a lot of attention to hygiene and to general cleanliness. Also recycling is really important and well organised in Norway.

The kitchen is run daily mostly by chef de cuisine and sous chef. Methods of management are similar to Finland. We need to always answer “yes chef” or “ja takk” to all messages from chefs. If you do something wrong, you will definitely hear about it. So some things are more exact here, but chefs guide us interns very supportively. They want to keep good mood in the kitchen because we work so many hours a day that it wouldn’t make any sense if we couldn’t enjoy our time there.

Alcohol law is mostly same as we have, but you can’t buy alcohol from stores on Sunday, and on weekdays selling times are few hours less than in Finland. Also I’ve noticed that you need to always have your ID with you if you want to go to a bar, no matter how old you are.

6tag-6144583-1265820279067091330_6144583

Glad that I still have some time to learn more and spend time with these people! Really enjoying my time here. 🙂

Great craic in Ireland

I’ve been in Ireland for five months and still staying strong. Last of the exams are over and now it is only matter of the results coming in. I came to Tralee in January, when it was windy and raining all the time, just like Finnish winters are now. The first impression I got from this little town that is was quiet and the people living here were very helpful and kindhearted. The accent in Kerry is the thickest I have ever heard, listening and nodding are my greatest strengths.

I mainly chose Ireland by accident, because I had to change my destination to something else, do to the fact I couldn’t leave in autumn. But it is easier to choose an English speaking country and  I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.

The school has two campuses to facilitate all the fields of study. I had problems choosing courses, because most of the courses I chose weren’t available, for some reasons. At the start I was happy with all of my decisions, but first impressions are deceiving. Quickly I noticed that some of the lecturers don’t fit the standard of educating, but others do. The workload for me was massive and after 80 pages of writing I was exhausted, choose your courses carefully. For some lecturers you could see the passion for their work and it was a motivational factor, but some just demotivate you. I’m lucky I didn’t have any group projects, because I heard some horror stories about the work of the local students, the lack of it. After the crazy amount of studying I’m more convinced I like the system better in Finland, because we actually do something and not just go over theories I’m not going to need.

2016-02-01 13.32.05

Of course we had a lot of free time and most of the Erasmus live in the same place, so it was easy to get to know everyone. The town is small, but everything is close by and you can get easily from town to the next. We used The Irish experience tours services a lot, because they offer cheap tours for students which was grand and you get to see the scenery. Otherwise just see as much as you can and enjoy. I think this doesn’t help my English at all, because the Irish talk a little funny and I’m picking up some bad habits.

2016-04-10 18.05.24 2016-04-09 15.53.16 2016-04-05 11.23.15 2016-03-24 17.14.08 2016-02-13 14.46.08 2016-02-13 13.38.03 2016-02-13 13.05.47 2016-02-13 12.19.03