VUM Students are often involved in study field trips, which count as a mark toward their final module grade. This semester VUM MBA students visited China, and VUM Master Degree students in International Hospitality and Tourism Management visited Greece. Here is a story from Polina Lukina, student in International Hospitality and Tourism Management programme, about her journey to Athens, Greece:
“The Field Trip was a compulsory element of the Exploring Hospitality and Tourism Landscapes module of our Master’s in International Hospitality and Tourism programme. This year we were fortunate to fly for a period of one week to the foreign, although a very close to Bulgaria destination, namely Greece. Our Hotel was located in Glyfada, the suburb of Athens. There we could enjoy the stunning sea view as well as the busy town centre with a wide range of shopping opportunities, while attending the City Unity College University which was located in Palmyra Hotel, just a 5 min walk from the seaside. Lavreotiki, the southeast region of Attika, the city port with the oldest silver mines deposits in the world and with the unique landscape protected by UNESCO, was the area that we were required to access as if we were a Destination Management Company. Our week started with getting to know our colleagues from the UK and Greece following by the presentation from the Greek Advisor to World Tourism Organisation, who provided us with a brief, although very valuable information about the state of tourism in Greece. Afterwards we participated in the team building activities, that I believe we all enjoyed and the welcoming lunch which consisted of traditional Greek dishes – this was a very welcoming gesture from the Greek Partners!
The next two days we spent exploring the city of Lavrion where we had the honor to meet the Mayor and his Representative, who kindly accompanied us throughout the whole day, hosted a one hour speech about the history of the city and enthusiastically answered any questions we had about the region. We also visited the Technological and Cultural Park of Lavrion, run by the National Technical University of Athens. The region of Sounion which involves the Temple of Poseidon, one of the most important temples in Greece, and the mysterious Big Hole were our next destination points. Although we all felt exhausted by the end of our second day of traveling to the sites, I am sure that the brains of most of us were overwhelmed with the potential ideas for our courseworks. Just to mention, the assessments for the module were entirely based on the Field Trip, as we first had to prepare a group presentation and discuss the current challenges facing the region and then we were required to prepare an individual Destination Management Plan – what an amazing practical experience! We were working on our presentations in groups of 3, where at least one team member was from a different country. Thus, this
was a great opportunity to practice our multicultural sensitivity as well as team working attributes, that we were taught in VUM!
Nerveless, our trip was not only about academic studies, but we also had an opportunity to visit Athens as well as enjoy our free time in the afternoon and discover the Greek culture! The time passed so quickly that we could not believe when the last day came and we had to deliver our presentations. After all the hard work and successfully passing our assessment, we had a surprise dinner at the Mexican Restaurant. Although short, I should admit that it was a unique opportunity to feel ourselves professionals in tourism, thanks to a strong collaboration of Cardiff Met, VUM and City Unity College!”