The last few months of 2013 was only the beginning of my travels. If there is any opportunity to travel, I go for it! I never thought in a million years I would have been selected to study in America, so I took that mentality of ‘you never know till you try’ with the opportunities that came my way. Fortunately these opportunities were provided by my University which enabled me to travel free of charge or at a discounted price through the International Experience and Mobility Service department.
For my advantage module I had the chance to go to China for 11 days. We stayed in Hangzhou at the Hangzhou Normal University for the first part of the trip and then stayed in a beautiful hotel in Shanghai for the last couple of days. I took a few weeks of Mandarin lessons in Coventry before travelling which was quite useful as the language barrier was a struggle at times. We got to visit some beautiful places such as Xie Xie wetlands, West Lake, famous temples and the pearl tower. I also tried some of the ‘typical’ Chinese cuisine, which is very different to what we eat in the UK, but was a lot nice in my opinion. I met so many lovely people, had tours of the University and of the famous markets and of course a bit of shopping.
International Skills Development for the Sport & Event Industries was one of the mandatory modules on my course which enabled me to travel once again, this time it was in The Netherlands, where we took part in the Management Games. We stayed in a hostel sharing with 5-8 people for 5 days, waking up at 5:30am to get ready for university, then travelled on a bus for 30 minutes to Hanze University of Applied Sciences. It was an intense week of challenges and presentations, we had mixed groups working with other students all over Europe and had to complete daily assignments. My group ended up coming 3rd in the management games yay! I also made sure to explore the city with the free time I had.
In May I was selected to volunteer at the EU Open Day event, working at the British Embassy with other Event Management Students. This was an amazing opportunity and my love for America grew stronger. We stayed at the lovely Embassy Row Hotel for 4 nights, we only had to work one day so the rest of the trip was free time. I went sightseeing to the typical tourist destinations such as The White House and The US Capital etc. I had my first American clubbing experience, which was very interesting to say the least and as usual I did a bit of shopping and more sightseeing.
This trip wasn’t part of my studies, just a city break with my friends this summer. We were in Amsterdam for 4 days, I wish I was there longer because we didn’t get to do everything we planned. With that being said it was still a really fun trip full of culture and craziness. I got to see the Anne Frank and Van Gough museum, took pictures with the’ I Amsterdam’ sign, stumbled upon a gelato festival, went on a peddle boat down the canal, checked out the Dutch nightlife, met some lovely people, went on my first bar crawl and went to the red light district. The red light district was definitely an experience, my cousin who has been to Amsterdam a couple of times recommended visiting ‘Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution’. Its located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the red light streets and gives you an insight to what life is like behind the window. I really enjoyed my time in Amsterdam and will probably travel there again.