If you've reached this post, you most likely are considering to join the Tourism Management programme at HZ University of Applied Sciences. That being said, in this blog I will dive into each year of this study and explain to you from my experience why this programme is a great choice if you are looking to become a tourism professional.
The first year will start by introducing you to the ‘World of Tourism’, which is the name of the first module. During this you will learn everything about Tourism, for example, the different types, cultures, people, and more. You will also get to work on your first group project with a real company, getting this valuable hands-on experience that will be so useful after graduation.
During the first year you will also dive into Operational Management, which will teach you about the logistics and business-oriented side of operating in the tourism field. You will learn about managing finances, human resources, legal implications, and more. During this module you will also once again work on a project where you can apply all the knowledge.
And the last theoretical module in this year will be Value Creation, which will bring you into a more creative position. You will need to learn how to understand the customers and design something that will connect with them on a personal level. The project for this last module will force you to become aware of the clients you want to reach, and take decisions based on that.
In the end, you will have your apprenticeship - which is an easier version of an internship. You will get to work within a real company and apply everything you learned during your first year. Observing the services provided by the company, analysing, and coming up with some useful feedback that might improve their performance will be what you will focus on.
Your second year will start with ‘Experience Design’, which is a full module focused on concept development. You will need to work in a group together with a company and come up with a brand-new concept that will offer new value and bring more customers. You will need to recall skills learned during your first year, but also be creative and learn new things.
The second module is ‘Cultural Awareness’, which will show you the difference between people in different corners of the world. You will learn why something that you might think is normal could not be for someone else, and how to understand and accept these differences so that you, as a tourism professional, can operate abroad.
And the final theoretical module in the second year is ‘Digital Intelligence’, which will teach you everything you need to know about the online environment of operating in the tourism field. You will learn about different types of marketing, how to use social media, advertising online, and customer’s data and how to reach them. During this module you will develop new skills that are becoming essential in today’s world.
Finally, you will get to work on your first proper internship this year. You will once again find a company and work together with them on designing and implementing a new concept that will improve their services. You will use all the knowledge gained during this year and the previous one, gaining the hands-on experience.
This year you will have the opportunity to go abroad for your minor. You can choose one of the many partnered universities of HZ and travel there for one semester. This can be either during the first semester or the second one, depending on your preference. Personally, I strongly recommend this, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
During the semester you won’t be doing your minor, you will have two modules at HZ. The first one is called ‘Strategic Stewardship’ and is focused all on professional research, decision making, and critical thinking. You will learn how to make critical decisions by taking part in a complex realistic simulation of a Tour Operator. This will develop your management skills and help you apply all the knowledge you have. During this module you will also get a taste of writing an article. You will have the chance to choose a topic of your preference and dive deep into it, ending up with a useful ‘Management Article’ about that.
Your final year will be designed to recap everything you learned throughout the study. There are multiple ways in which you can do your graduation and you can choose the one that suits you the best. Writing your thesis based on a topic you enjoy and having a traineeship for one semester in a company are aspects you will be working on for your graduation.
And finally, you will celebrate all the achievements and amazing moments lived during the four years at the graduation ceremony.
These are the four years you will experience as a Tourism Management student. Getting through all of these will make you a true professional in the field with already some valuable experience that will be so very useful when starting your own business or joining an existing one. And what’s even better is that besides the learning and studying you will also develop yourself on a personal level, create friendships, and experience a great student life in an international community!