To some, the idea of travel is simply hopping on a plane and seeing where it takes you. For those studying travel and tourism, travel is a multi-faceted subject that can take you from the slopes of the Alps to the beaches of Southeast Asia. Moving your education in the field of travel and tourism out of the classroom and into diverse regions studded with museums, natural landmarks, colorful cuisine, and thousands of other travelers, will give you the practical knowledge needed to be successful in a tourism career and experience only available through studying abroad.
Why Study Tourism Abroad
There is no better place to study travel and tourism than in another country where you can learn firsthand how travel is experienced in different parts of the world. The field of tourism is very fast-paced and, with developing technology, is constantly evolving, making the subject a very exciting one to study abroad.
Tourism is also a very broad subject, as it can encompass anything from travel planning to hospitality to the culinary arts to tour management. The advantage of studying tourism and travel abroad is that specific areas of the world concentrate on certain areas of tourism, providing you with both very specialized studies and hands-on experience. Tourism study abroad also gives students the chance to immerse themselves in the field in nations where the economy is largely dependent on the tourism industry.
Additionally, studying tourism abroad will assist you in future graduate schools or job applications, as it demonstrates that you have the ability to adapt and truly understand other cultures and people, a necessary quality in the tourism field and in today’s global economy in general.
In recent years, international travel has expanded to include regions and countries previously overlooked; as such, students have the opportunity to study tourism abroad in all corners of the world. However, there are a few areas on the globe that are particularly well-known for their high volume of tourists and their dedication to furthering educational opportunities in the field. In each of these countries, travel and tourism can be studied either in academic institutions or trade-specific schools, which often offer programs for international students.
Europe is the most highly-visited continent by travelers worldwide. European countries have been popular destinations for centuries, making a culture of tourism deeply rooted in European society. The tourism industry in nations such as France, Italy, and Switzerland are especially concentrated on hospitality, the culinary arts, and the expansive cultural and historical reputations that their various monuments and palaces are built upon.
Australia and New Zealand have been experiencing huge increases in tourism recently. From the coasts to the mountains to bustling cities, these countries are prime locations for those looking to explore well beyond the beaten path of Europe’s historical landmarks. Both Australia and New Zealand are very culturally diverse, with demographics including aboriginals, immigrants from the United Kingdom, large Chinese and Indian populations, as well as other members of the Oceanic Pacific. Tourism in these countries holds all the allures of ancient hills and rocky coasts, but also the exciting pulse of new cities and incredible wildlife that make it worth the long flight.
South America and Central America, with their various indigenous and Hispanic cultures, ancient ruins, and delicious food, have been making a name for themselves in the tourism industry for years. Most significantly, ecotourism has boomed in these countries, especially nations like Costa Rica. This has shifted travelers’ typical exploration of cities to the rainforests and beaches and emphasizing an appreciation for natural beauty as well as manmade wonders. As more ecologically-friendly establishments rise in popularity, tourism study abroad programs are concentrating on these countries more and more as they rise to the forefront of innovative travel.
Courses & Programs
The structure of tourism courses abroad depends on your program and the branch of tourism that you choose to study, as there are a great number of subjects to study within the field of travel and tourism. However, most course loads typically include a combination of academic studies. Some classes, such as Sustainable Tourism, International Marketing and Event Planning, and Restaurant, Food and Beverage, and Hospitality Management are likely to be included in your schedule. Almost all tourism courses abroad include hands-on, experiential components with a local tour agency, a hotel, a tourism board, restaurant, or local attraction, so students can gain practical knowledge and international experience in their chosen expertise.
Some previous experience is usually required in order to have a solid foundation of knowledge for your courses, as well as the need to be capable in your fieldwork in the tourism industry. Also, if you plan to study abroad in a country where the native language is not your first language, it is recommended that you have studied the language of the country beforehand so as to best immerse yourself in the culture and local workplace.
- Career Path Builder. Studying tourism abroad can set you on a path towards an exciting career that allows you to continue to experience the rewarding challenges and allure of living abroad. Future employers will see that you have practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the field in which you are working, which will be helpful as you continue your education and eventually lead to a fulfilling career. In this attractive, competitive field, studying abroad is an easy way to gain an edge over other applicants.
- High Workload, High Reward. Travel and tourism is a challenging, time-consuming field of study and work that requires a great deal of dedication and know-how in order to succeed. However, it is also an incredibly rewarding path that can allow you to connect with other travelers and a new country, culture, and approach to the field of tourism.