Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Poland study visit cements friendships

UCLan Hospitality Management undergraduates travelled to Poland with colleagues from our Tourism programme to take part in an international collaborative study project.

Part-funded by the European Union and UCLan's School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors, the trip gave 17 students the opportunity to take part in a variety of EU-themed workshops with their peers at the University College of Tourism and Ecology, Sucha Beskidzka.

The sessions were based around the cultural heritage and history of both Poland and the United Kingdom, and explored the meaning of European citizenship, the culture and traditions of the two countries, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, all with a view to improving the students' employability in a challenging career market.

Lecturers Dot Ujma and Amanda Payne accompanied the group during the trip, which also featured visits to Krakow, the Malopolska region, the mountain capital of Poland, Zakopane, and the areas around Sucha Beskidzka.

Amanda said the trip had been incredibly rewarding: "The visit exposed students to various individuals from different cultural, religious and geographic backgrounds, and in so doing provided the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of diversity.

"Students gained knowledge and experience by interacting with each other within the hospitality context, by participating in both educational and social activities such as workshops and cultural visits. In turn, the host students built international friendships of their own and gained a fuller appreciation of foreign cultures and values.

"I truly believe strong friendships have been forged. Both sets of students worked exceptionally hard and were a credit to both themselves and their respective universities."

This was the second year the trip has taken place and it has quickly become a firm favourite with our students. Naheeda Ali commented: "The whole Erasmus+ programme was a wonderful opportunity - I'm lucky to have been part of it. The Polish students where so helpful and passionate, making every day of the trip an enjoyable experience.

"The activities where so good – our biggest achievement was climbing the Zakopane Mountains. We really bonded with the Polish students and I'm excited to plan for when they come over to UCLan in the future."

To view the students' blog about the trip please click here. For a selection of pictures please click here.

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