Tourism master's student explores Estonia in international exchange and internship
Love travelling and want to learn all about it? International experiences are an essential element of the Monash Arts Graduate Tourism Program (GTP) and Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. Our globetrotting Tourism students discover how to embrace diverse perspectives, broaden their international awareness and gain incredible industry insights. We caught up with Tourism student Christopher Pangalos to talk about the top highlights from his exchange at the Estonian Business School.
Why did you choose to study Tourism at a master's level?
I chose to study this degree because it literally popped up as an advertisement on LinkedIn. I then conducted further research and found that this was the only one that was tailored to me. This master's by coursework gave me the opportunity to see all the different facets of tourism to start me thinking about a potential research project.
What has been the highlight of the program so far?
For me the highlight was our study tour to ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair. I used this opportunity to see which type of tourism sector I wanted to explore. I focused on researching the LGBT sector in tourism, especially in the context of travel to emerging destinations, and found it very interesting. I also thoroughly enjoyed my first class with Dr Jeff Jarvis (GTP's Program Director). There was so much information on how the tourism industry operates. It really enticed me to read all my reports and articles before class because it was so interesting.
What are the benefits of studying this program at Monash Arts?
The name that’s attached to this degree is one of the reasons I studied here. Monash alumni stretch far and wide across the world. We met a lot of alumni in the tourism industry who have completed the same degree and are doing tremendous things When we met these industry speakers it solidified to me that I had made the correct decision studying here.
You recently went on exchange to Estonia as part of your studies. Why did you choose Estonia?
There were three exchange destinations available to me, including Sweden, Latvia and Estonia - the degree also offers a short-term study tour to Fiji which focuses on sustainable tourism. Each country had different opportunities and subjects. I chose Estonia because I was able to undertake a real world consultancy internship with the Estonian Tourism Board while on exchange. We were tasked with pitching our ideas to the director of research, conducting interviews and creating an industry report for them. I felt like I was a real professional. I will always think fondly of my time in Estonia.
How long were you there for?
I was in Estonia for four and a half months. I arrived earlier because I wanted to explore before classes started.
What did you learn?
I learnt a lot of different life lessons during this experience. I learnt that friendships can last a lifetime and that networking is one of the strongest skills you can take into the workforce. I have had this mindset prior but being able to see it clearly in another country was very interesting. The art of networking can be scary but I feel if you keep putting yourself in that scenario you can make the correct connections for your career.
What advice would you give to other students who are considering spending a semester on exchange?
I would say to do it, you never know who you might meet that will change your world. You learn a lot about yourself, you come back a different person. I feel if you are thinking of doing it, try your best to get an internship out of it. Working overseas looks amazing on your resume.