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Students of the Universitat de Girona participate in the Think Pacific virtual internships

Three students of the Universitat de Girona enrolled in the European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM) have participated in a virtual internship program in Fiji in collaboration with the Government of Fiji and NGOs in the country. The Think Pacific virtual internship programme aims to tackle international development issues and achieve real outcomes for the partners in Fiji, while developing the skills and experience of the participants.

Read Maria Gympaki, Christina Katsantoni and Irina Hardziyenka’s experience and learnings.

 

I am Maria Gympaki from Crete (Greece) and I am  a postgraduate student at the "European Master in Tourism Management" programme (EMTM) of the Universitat de Girona.

  1. What is the Think Pacific virtual internship programme about? Why did you decide to apply?

Think Pacific is an English-Fijian NGO that collaborates with the Fijian Government and Fijian NGO's. For the needs of the internship I am working on a project for a Fijian NGO called "Femlink" that aims to empower women in Fiji.

  1. What is the Think Pacific virtual internship programme about? Why did you decide to apply?

I have completed four weeks of the internship already and I feel I have already gained new knowledge about Fiji and the Fijian culture, as well as about women's position in the Fijian society. I also had the chance to network with like-minded interns from all around the world.

3. How was the experience and what did you learn? Did you meet any people/make friends during the internship?

I would definitely recommend a virtual internship programme to other students. It is definitely different than a non-virtual internship, however, you can still gain new skills and knowledge and it is actually more flexible than a non-virtual internship.

 

Hello, my name is Christina Katsantoni and I am from Greece. Currently, I am studying at the Faculty of Tourism of UDG, specifically, being enrolled at the European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM)! 

  1. What is the Think Pacific virtual internship programme about? Why did you decide to apply?

The Think Pacific virtual Internship is a volunteering program that helps the Fijian community by involving international students in different projects that aim at the development of the country, its organisations and enterprises and their sustainability.

The reason I applied to this internship was that I was fascinated by its objectives and felt the need to contribute while developing different skills, networking and broaden my future career opportunities.

  1. How was the experience and what did you learn? Did you meet any people/make friends during the internship?

This experience can be definitely described as valuable. It gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about Fiji, the culture,  the everyday life of the Fijians, their economy and production and the government's long-term plans. Also, through the project I chose, I learnt how to build and design a website, something completely new to me!

Last but not least, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different places of the world and organise casual virtual coffees with them and discuss our projects, goals and future plans.

  1. Would you recommend a virtual internship programme to other students? Any tips?

I would definitely recommend programs like this to other students, although I believe that in this specific case the virtual program cannot offer the same experience as the face-to-face version where volunteers visit Fiji and can understand into deep the needs of the community and goals of the action projects.

 

My name is Irina Hardziyenka and I am from Belarus. Currently I am doing a European Master in Tourism Management which is a joint Masters degree in three countries: Denmark, Slovenia, Spain. My master research is related to destination brand equity of Slovenia.

  1. What is the Think Pacific virtual internship programme about? Why did you decide to apply?

The programme seemed to be a great opportunity for me to learn in an international environment as there are participants from all over the world. Not only that but the idea of creating a project for such an unusual destination as Fiji sounded very exciting for me. I was passionate to implement my academic knowledge about tourism and sustainability as well as my previous work experience in tourism and international relations.

    2.  How was the experience and what did you learn? Did you meet any people/make friends during the internship?

I would say the most valuable part of the internship is the opportunity is to choose the project of your choice. Despite the fact that you have to do your own research and organise your time well, it provides you with a chance to master self-discipline and dig into one of your passions. It was also great to have regular mentor meetings as they let you stay on track with all your tasks. 

   3. Would you recommend a virtual internship programme to other students? Any tips?

Think Pacific virtual internship would be great for anyone who wants to get out of the classroom and make a project that is 100% practically applicable. It is an amazing chance to put together all your knowledge from the university and get a grip on the professional world of your choice.

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