Language immersion, new perspectives and practical knowledge
In high school my dream was to become a travel guide, flight attendant or pilot. The student advisor at our school encouraged me to also consider studying tourism research at the university level. And I have always done things more with my head than my hands. A friend of mine from the same school who went to the University of Lapland to study tourism research recommended the programme and that is why I decided to apply.
Thanks to MTI, university students can choose courses at Lapland University of Applied Sciences or vice versa. In autumn of my first year, I took a course at Lapland UAS called Managing Customer Relations, which was recommended to students of tourism research who were doing a minor in management.
Although ultimately I did not minor in management, the course was very useful for my studies. There is no corresponding course at the University and what I learned in the course has proven to be extremely useful in my marketing courses. In addition, I received credits for the course towards some of the basic courses in marketing. The amount of work required by the course was surprisingly large, since it is a course for second- and third-year students at Lapland UAS. However, students’ different backgrounds were taken into account in the course requirements.
At MTI you can choose courses or modules that are run in cooperation with other schools. Destination Marketing, a course I completed in 2011, had students from Lapland UAS and the University of Lapland. The requirements included quite a few guest lectures and many of the people taking it were exchange students. The entire course had to be completed in English but this was not overly challenging since most of the literature we had to read was in English anyway. In addition to this ‘immersion’, one of the great benefits of the course was the exercises we did in mixed groups. These provided many different perspectives and practical knowledge on the topic we were dealing with. I absolutely recommend you try it! The University and UAS have actually had joint courses every year. Perhaps the biggest benefit of the courses is that I at least have learned a great deal about group work. Students from two different schools will have different ways of working, so you learn the art of reaching compromises and adjusting to different situations.
The cross-selectable courses also offer a wonderful opportunity. In the autumn of 2014 I plan to take a course at Lapland Tourism College called Check in – Check out, which gives a solid knowledge of how hotel reservation systems work.
During my first autumn as a student, I felt somewhat unsure but now that I have got into the swing of things with my studies, I am satisfied with my decision to choose tourism research studies at the University. MTI brings a variety of additional opportunities to the programme and adds interesting new perspectives as well.
Päivi Pahkamaa began her studies in tourism research at the University of Lapland in autumn 2010.