Anesca Smith talks with 1st year students Carolina Lopez from Spain, who is part of the first group of students who this September started with the so-called EuroBA - or BA Hons International Hospitality Management - a double degree programme Wittenborg University offers with the University of Brighton in the UK.
The EuroBA allows IBA Hospitality Management students to spend year 2 of their studies at a partner institute in Germany (ANGELL Business School) and year 3 at the University of Brighton (UK) and Ecole de Savignac (France). Students can also opt to spend 2 years at Wittenborg completing only their final year at Brighton. Upon completion of their studies, successful candidates are awarded a degree from Wittenborg University and from the University of Brighton.
Carolina spoke about her experience of the program so far, her reasons for coming to the Netherlands and adjusting to the Dutch eating their dinner at 6pm instead of 9pm like the Spanish!
Hi Carolina, where in Spain do you hail from?
I am from the South of Spain, Almeria.
Why did you choose to study in the Netherlands?
My boyfriend is Dutch and he told me about the good school programs in the Netherlands. And also because here everyone speaks English and I can improve.
What was your first impression of Holland?
A lot of bikes and very cold! Ha-ha-ha. I arrived in January.
What are the pros and cons of studying in the Netherlands?
The pros: People are nice. Also, I can study and work during the weekends.
The cons: The cold weather. I was in Spain (last week) and I could wear a t-shirt. Oh, and the food hours - in Spain we lunch between 2.30 - 3pm. Dinner is 9 - 10 pm.
Why did you choose to study at Wittenborg University?
I was looking for a hospitality program and of course one that is offered in English. I chose the EuroBA at Wittenborg because the school is so international and also because it’s possible for students to (spend a duration of their) study in Germany, England and France.
What are your impressions of the EuroBA-program after almost two months?
It is a very good program. It is fast-paced so you cannot waste time, but I like the way it is organized.
Do you think it will be challenging living in a different country every year of your studies?
For me not, because I am use to living away from home after studying three years in another Spanish city, Malaga.
What is key though to survive studying in a different country?
Keep busy, work hard, talk a lot with your family and friends. If you really can’t adapt, remember studying is only a temporary phase.
Do you live with other students?
Yes. It is nice living with students because they understand when you need to study hard and when you are free.
Do you have any work experience?
Yes, I worked as an au pair, then I found a job as a housekeeper and now I am working weekends at the Hampshire Eden Hotel in Oosterpark.
How do you like spending your free time?
I like cycling and going out with my friends, but at the moment don’t have a lot of free time.
What are your plans upon graduating?
I will try to find a good job because I am 22 years old now, but if not, I will follow a master program in events organization.
What ambitions do you have for yourself?
I think everyone studying hospitality would like to own a hotel one day, but I would also like to have my own events company and work for hotels.
Interview by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press
Anesca Smith is a Final Year IBA Hospitality Management student and has been employed as a writer for Wittenborg since May this year. Anesca is a journalist, writing for newspapers in her native South Africa, however is looking forward to working in the hospitality industry. Find out more at http://anescasmith.com/