An educational trip to the Mediterranean
Leeds City College students recently headed to Greece to learn more about tourism and hospitality.
Six students from the School of Travel, Food and Drink gained some valuable work experience at the four-star Alexander the Great Beach Hotel. The group included three travel and tourism students, Livia Lentner, Ruby Warrior, Leah Weston; food and drink students Neema Wilson and Ammarah Khan; and Morgan Campbell, who’s studying aviation.
Part of the PAP Corp hotel group, the Alexander the Great Beach Hotel is based at Kriopighi, a picturesque spot on the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece.
During their three week stay, the students did a little bit of everything including bar work, serving meals and working in the kitchen.
Making the most of a great opportunity
Ruby, Leah and Neema said: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our experience in Greece. We were able to develop the skills from our courses and put them into practice during our shifts.
“The staff have been supportive and really friendly, and have made this a memorable experience.”
The trip was made possible through Erasmus+, an EU funded programme which helps young people experience work, study or training in another country.
The students were accompanied by two tutors, with Kerrie Hardwick joining them for the first week of their visit and Luke Jones supporting during their final week.
Luke said: “The students did an incredible job in Greece, working to high standards in hot conditions.
“Feedback from staff members and guests at the hotel, where they made a great impression, has been extremely positive.
“As their teacher, I am so proud of how they have worked and what I have witnessed. Having taught some of the students throughout the year, to see them in action working overseas in a four star hotel is just so rewarding.”
“It was hard work but the girls were pushing their limits, exploring their capabilities outside of their comfort zone, and supporting the organisation through their roles. I know this experience will help them develop as people and support them in their future careers.”
Excellent advocates for the college
Project and Compliance Lead at Leeds City College, Laura Jones, said: “PAP Corp has been a long-standing partner of ours, and our students have enjoyed visiting on placements for several years.
“All of our students this year were allocated work shifts in the hotel that were linked to their study areas, including front-of-house, restaurant and kitchens.
“They also had non-working days where they could enjoy exploring the local area and culture, and go on trips. They went with a remit to find out about the country, its culture, people and religion; learn about the destination, learn a few Greek words, and be excellent advocates for the college.
“Judging by the very positive feedback that we’ve had from the hotel, they did just that – and really made the most of the experience.”
She added: “This is the last placement of the nine that we have managed since the lifting of Covid-19 regulations earlier in the year.
“It would not have been possible without the hard work of my team and the accompanying tutors, who have gone out of their way to ensure our students had the best time possible.”
The Erasmus+ programme had been due to end in the UK following Brexit, but was extended by two years because of the pandemic.
The final work placements for UK students to be supported by the programme will be in 2023.
Leeds City College is aiming, however, to secure grants for further placements via the government’s Turing Scheme.