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Pinar Yalcin, Tourism and Hospitality student, Erasmus work placement

Pinar Yalcin had always wanted to travel, so the opportunity to combine this dream of seeing the world with a university education was ideal for her

"I'd heard about LSBU through UCAS, and some friends of mine had also told me that it was a great place to study," she says. "Going to university to study a course like this was a big step in securing that future for myself."

A different experience

Once Pinar started her BA (Hons) Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Management, she found herself enjoying the teaching and support, which she describes as 'excellent'. It was during one of her lectures that she was introduced to the Erasmus programme, and she immediately knew that it was something she would enjoy. "I just felt it would be a different experience for me," she says. "I had no reservations whatsoever applying to take part."

Fantastic atmosphere

Pinar was accepted onto the Erasmus programme, and was able to undertake a work placement at the Wow Bodrum resort in Turkey. "As a Turkish national, I already spoke the language and I was familiar with the hotel as well, having worked there in the past," she says. "It's a great place to gain excellent experience – the atmosphere is fantastic, the workforce is excellent, and everyone is really helpful."

Enjoying her work

As well as enjoying her work, Pinar also made the most of the fabulous location when it came to her spare time. "It's really important in the tourism industry that you can be helpful to hotel guests and customers, so I spent most of my time off exploring Bodrum so that I understood more about the area and the culture," she says. "It was a great excuse for really exploring the place, and helped me to provide an even better service – as well as being fun!"

Work abroad

Pinar believes that her experience on the Erasmus programme will be helpful to her in her career when the time comes for her to leave LSBU and start work. "My future career plan is to work abroad," she explains, "and the experience I gained on Erasmus is a great start. I've developed lots of skills that I can continue to build throughout my career. After I graduate, I'm planning to spend a year working abroad in the events industry, and I know that I will draw on many of the things I learned in Bodrum when I do." 

Learn a different language and culture

Unsurprisingly, Pinar recommends taking part in Erasmus to all students. "Not only is it a great chance to gain experience in your chosen industry, it also provides the opportunity to learn a different language and culture," she says. "That's something which can only be of benefit to anyone later in their career."

Find out more about where you can go on an Erasmus exchange.