Karin applied to study at Melbourne Polytechnic as part of an exchange program with her university in Finland.
She spent a semester exploring the Australian and Asia-pacific industry approaches in the Bachelor of Hospitality Management, opening her eyes to the unique and diverse environments of the region.
“It has been a dream for me for quite a long time to come here and see how things are done. I find it fascinating to learn about how businesses behave in a different way.”
Karin undertook an exchange program for one semester at Melbourne Polytechnic and discovered more about Australian and Asian perspectives in this fast-paced and ever-changing industry.
Karin had already studied two years of a Bachelor in Hospitality Management in Finland before a curiosity for new experiences abroad compelled her to apply for Melbourne Polytechnic’s exchange program.
“When I was offered this opportunity, I knew I had to take it. Even if it was only for a short while, I thought it would still be valuable to see how things are done here.”
While studying and living in Europe certainly offers variety in terms of countries and languages, Australia provided a unique experience for Karin for a range of different reasons.
She was attracted to the country’s vast and diverse landscape, and once she arrived, similarly impressed by the diversity within the industry and Melbourne Polytechnic’s student population. Karin soon realised that she was going to learn just as much from her peers as she would from her courses.
“One of the highlights of the course was being able to study with such an international group of people. In Finland, I study with Europeans, but here I’ve studied with people from Asian countries and learning how things work in Asia, not only Australia.”
Karin had previously worked in hotel reception, restaurants and housekeeping positions before arriving in Melbourne. Yet even with this hands-on experience, she still relished the chance to learn about practical scenarios with her teachers.
“We study a lot of case studies, samples from real life companies about how things have been done in the past, which gives us the chance to learn from their mistakes and their successes. The teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic provide a realistic feel for what might happen and how to handle different situations.”
Studying in Melbourne also offered Karin the chance to study topics unique to the Australian environment. A unit on sustainability offered an insight into how Australian industry leaders are tackling current challenges and further strengthened Karin’s understanding of this issue on an international level.
“It was so interesting to learn how Australia is trying to be more sustainable in business, especially given its difficult natural environment. This is something I would never have encountered at home.”
When Karin completes her degree back home, she hopes to work in quality control or revenue management with the hotel industry. She knows that there are many pathways open to her and is confident that she’s chosen the right avenue for her skills.
“The thing that’s most important to me in the industry, is that it’s fast paced and always changing. I really love working in this kind of environment.”
Bachelor of Hospitality Management