Nine lucky students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) got their summer vibes off to an early start with an overseas work placement, fully funded by the Turning Scheme.
The hospitality and tourism students, from three different courses at SERC’s Bangor Campus, got to spend two weeks in the popular Spanish island resort of Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, located 60 miles off the north eastern coast of Africa.
The students, Kenzie McClelland, (Bangor), Erin Horner (Comber), Eimear McCarthy (Portaferry), Eve Saunders (Bangor) all Level 3 Hospitality with Events; Annabel McNutt (Bangor), Lea Nickell (Donaghadee) both Ulster University Foundation Degree in Hospitality and Tourism with Specialisms; and Robyn McGowan (Bangor), and Ali McKay-Geary (Bangor) from the Level 2 Traineeship NI in Hospitality & Tourism Team Member (Food and Beverage Service), spent their time on placements across five different hotels on the resort gaining valuable front of house as well as food and beverage service experience.
Ali McKay-Geary, from the Level 2 Traineeship NI in Hospitality & Tourism Team Member (Food and Beverage Service) said, “My placement was at Arena Suites, a local hotel, and my role as part of the front of house team involved setting tables for breakfast and lunch as well as preparing cocktail drinks at the pool bar area. I loved the work and the whole experience, and I would love to go back. I was offered the opportunity to go back out to work there again which would be fantastic.”
Sheena Hunt, Lecturer in Hospitality at SERC, said, “This was another successful work placement for our students. Not only did they gain valuable front of house experience for food and beverage service at a popular resort, but the trip allowed them to gain an insight into the industry in another country, and to experience another culture and language. Some of the students had never been abroad before so working independently, managing their own finances and travel documentation and keeping good time keeping for their placements – all in another country – provided important life skills which go beyond the trip.
“The group got to meet other students from across the curriculum area and enjoyed learning a few Spanish phrases to get them by in their day-to-day roles. Testament to themselves, some were invited back for work.”
She concluded, “Besides the work placement, we also got to enjoy some extracurricular activities including going out for dinner, snorkelling, mini golf, a catamaran trip, paddle boarding, and excursions to Lanzarote, a volcano, a vineyard and the Green Lagoon.”
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