Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest Post: Scottish Experience

The Business & Tourism department at MSVU is a community of people, experiences, opinions and voices. Our blog will reflect that community with the inclusion of guest bloggers who have stories to share of value to our community.
Today's guest blogger is Lauren AuCoin, a second year BBA student. Lauren had the opportunity to spend her fall semester studying in Scotland as part of the European Union Mobility Program. She is a 2011 Fame Award of Excellence Recipient, earning the Stephen Phillips Passion for Hospitality Bursary from the Hotel Association of Canada.

My Scottish Experience

Four weeks prior to my unexpected departure, I was given the unique opportunity to study abroad in Scotland for one semester. With considerable financial assistance provided, this European Union Mobility Program focused on sustainable tourism with a transatlantic perspective.

I spent ten weeks studying at Scottish Agriculture College (SAC) in the west of Scotland, concentrating on rural business development within Great Britain’s tourism industry. SAC’s hands-on learning approach allows students to acquire skills and concepts with an emphasis on experience opposed to a curriculum solely comprised of classroom lectures. This educational experience provided me with knowledge of the role of tourism in international settings, specifically areas of Europe. As well, I gained a greater appreciation for the importance of business diversification in rural areas that are primarily used for agricultural purposes.

In the circumstance of any foreign exchange, I had to adapt to a country with a set of values, behaviours and language that varied from my own. I believe it is these instances in life that not only contribute to a well-rounded academic breadth, but also teach us about our character in situations outside our regular comfort zone.

When not studying in Ayr, I was fortunate to travel throughout Europe. Reaching five other European countries, I experienced a taste of diversity within cultures, customs and standards of communication. From skiing in the Swiss Alps to drinking my first Guinness in Dublin to walking through five million Christmas lights in Sweden, these adventures allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation of variation among cultures while observing the importance of tourism internationally.

Being a student and optimistic young employee of the tourism industry, I believe that travelling and seeing the world is significant to this field in particular to gain a better insight into our world’s diversity. This program allowed me to challenge myself in various aspects of both my education and self as an individual. As a business and tourism student, this prospect has introduced me to a greater comprehension of the tourism and travel industry on an international level. Although I am unsure of where my career will lead me, I am confident that this opportunity has opened doors to new ways of thinking and learning and has led to a greater understanding of how I can positively impact the future of tourism.

Submitted by Lauren AuCoin

Do you have a story you would like to share with the B&T community? We would love to hear from you: students, faculty, alumni or any community stakeholders connected to the program. Drop us an email with your idea!

1 comment:

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