Sally Busack, alumna, BA (Hons) Tourism and HospitalitySally took so much away from her time at LSBU, it wasn't just her degree, she took advantage of Spanish and Mandarin lessons, along with developing her English
Sally got more than just a degree when she came to London, taking up Spanish and Mandarin courses, along with a placement opportunity, Sally really made the most of her time here.
Supported and independent learning
Whilst college and university can be a big step for many, Sally found that whilst independent learning was encouraged, support and help was at hand every step of the way if students needed it, and she notes how it was more of a structured coaching and feedback method as opposed to spoon feeding correct answers and expectations.
“Academics were always very helpful and most of them, if not all, had worked in the industry they were teaching. This was very helpful, as they not only knew what it is like in theory, but they also knew what it was like in practice. They were able to give examples from the real life, which made it much easier for students to understand.
"Assignment deadlines are often a stressful time for students, and occasionally personal circumstances may affect students ability to hand in assignments in on time. Academic staff were very understanding and willing to accommodate students within reason, which I found to be very empathetic of a student’s time at university.
"This is even evident in the resources and facilities available to students; the university provides all tools for the studies, such as computers in the Learning Resources Centre and books in the library. If students, for whatever reason, are not able to have a computer themselves or buy the books for the course, they are not inhibited from studying at LSBU.”
A close-knit course cohort
The course was designed in order to facilitate close working relationships, which involved field trips, group work, and class assignments, all of which developed networking and soft skills.
“During the first and final year, we went on field trips that were perfect opportunities to bond with classmates and lecturers. This allowed us to develop strong working relationships. In addition, we learned about different sectors of the hospitality and tourism industry so that we could discover job opportunities and what we could do with our degree.
Even now I’m still in touch with classmates from the University, and we try to see each other as often as possible.”
A well-placed placement
Often before students are sent on placement, LSBU organises opportunities to give students insight into what it’s like working in different industries. This ensures that our students know exactly what they’d like to spend their time doing, and consequently don't waste time if they discover that an industry isn’t quite right for them. In this case, Sally visited a restaurant to find out what it was like to work in the hospitality sector, and then went on placement at a tour operator, students from the course get a chance to pick placements in either the hospitality or tourism sector, but these visits give students the opportunity to see both.
“I did my placement at a tour operator, which gave me the opportunity to learn in practice how the different operators in the tourism industry work together and how the industry is structured. I also found that my time-keeping and organisation skills improved due to the demanding and project management aspect of my responsibilities whilst on placement.“
But what about a room
As an international student, Sally was moving to London, despite having previously visited, and comments on her preferred choice of accommodation.
“As somebody who had not lived in London before, I’d highly recommend getting a room in the halls of residence as it makes the move so much easier and relaxing. The University is a campus university so it means everything is within close walking proximity to each other”.
A travel inspired education
Sally has been lucky enough to meet people from all over the world at a tourist office, and this gave her the inspiration to further her studies at LSBU in tourism.
“As an adolescent, I had the opportunity to work at a tourist office during the summer holidays. This was exciting as I got to meet people from all over the world, learn about their cultures, which was something I really enjoyed. It also gave me an insight into what the tourist industry was like, it was something that I could see myself enjoying if I chose to study it. My upbringing developed my interest in languages and cultures, and when I found about the language courses at LSBU, I couldn't help but do both Mandarin and Spanish courses".