My Bachelor course in Tourism & Event Management included two mandatory internships of two to three month each. At least one of these had to be in a foreign country. I did the first internship in the editorial department of the German travel magazine Geo Saison. The time there was very interesting because I got to know many different touristic destinations all over the world. During the second internship I worked as a camp leader and tour guide for Horizonte Reisen, a German tour operator specialized on youth group travel. Here I got the chance to work in three different destinations during one summer: On the Dutch Island Ameland, in the Tuscany and finally at the Adriatic Sea.
In addition to these internships my Bachelor course included some mandatory practical projects, e.g. a quality check at touristic service providers. But the best were the voluntary projects: I participated in several organization committees for internal and public university events. In this way I learned a lot, not only on the technical, but also on the personal level.
In the end it was the participation in this organization committees which brought me to my current sideline job as a cruise journalist. This, in turn, is another interesting way for me to gain practical experience: I get in touch with many different companies related to the cruise industry, can visit the ships and sometimes even travel on them. So I get many insides and background knowledge about the companies, their philosophy and their way of working. And I get to know a lot of interesting persons.
Since I started to study abroad it’s harder to gain (further) practical experiences, and that’s one of the few disadvantages here: Proper student-jobs in Rome are rare, especially unless you have a very good knowledge of the Italian language. Initially I thought about a job as a tour guide for German tourists but the bureaucratic burdens to obtain the necessary licence are extremely high, so probably I have to abandon this idea. My master program contains some practical projects as well, but due to the nature of the course they are based on general management topics, not specifically on tourism.