Tourism management: Parissa: went abroad three times during her studies

Why did you decide to study at HZ?

"I decided to go to HZ because I loved the practical approach to studying. Through googling all kinds of tourism related study programs, I found HZ and after reading about the Tourism Management programme and seeing where it was located, I was convinced."

Why did you choose this specific study programme?

"I knew I wanted to study something very international, that would enable me to pursue other careers later on as well. That is why it was important to me to learn more about business related topics, but in a context I found interesting – traveling and its many possibilities. All this, plus the fact that international stays are not just encouraged but an integrated part of the programme, is what really won me over."

Can you explain what the study is about?

"My courses ranged from business related ones (such as finance, E-business, marketing, human resource management etc.) to tourism ones (such as wellness, leisure, Imagineering). I loved the balance between theory and practice. We had classes on the theory in the morning and then often group work to apply our knowledge to real-life projects in the afternoon. Of course, we often wrote assignments, but in relation to real companies or projects, so that it felt more tangible and useful. Studying in the Netherlands was a great experience. People speak very good English, they are open minded and everything is really well connected."

What did you think of studying in Zeeland, the Netherlands?

"Zeeland, and Vlissingen is of course a quieter area. For me, personally, this was great. I loved the sea and nature, the intimate contact to other students and the community we formed. Vlissingen was also a good location to travel from. I could easily reach all airports or go to neighbouring countries by bus or train. That was very useful for me."

What was the most valuable part of your studies?

"The most valuable part of my studies was the personal approach, the option to make it very international and the practical components. HZ offers as much as each student is willing to make out of it, so it is really up to you."

Tell us about your internships and your minor? how did you experience these semesters?

"I loved my internships and minor. I went abroad three times for/ during my studies. Once back home to South Africa to do an internship, one exchange semester in Thailand and a final thesis internship in Ecuador. All these experiences – and studying in the Netherlands – were really valuable and the part I enjoyed the most because it allowed me to focus more on topics I was passionate about and to travel wherever I wanted. I could take this as far as I wanted and I made the most out of it."

What did you do after graduation?

"I was unsure what to do next. However, I had found a great Master course in Sweden called “Sustainable Destination Development” at Uppsala University. It was a great experience living in Sweden and again being surrounded by so many nationalities and exchanging so much knowledge."

What would your advice be to a student applying to HZ?

"My advice would be to go to an open day to really know what is most important to you: the study programme, the location, the teaching method etc. It all needs to fit well together. (I am an advocate for a gap year)"

Read more about Tourism Management at HZ University of Applied Sciences