First Semester Flashback

This is quite a long blog, I wrote it specifically for readers out there who are interested in the Tourism Destination Development master.

The second semester is already well on its way, and I think it’s the right time to have a look back at the first one. The semester started in the first week of September and ended the first week of January. This blog is to give you a short summary of my personal experience with the first 4 courses.

The first course we had was the ‘sustainable destination development’ course and it was taught by Ioanna Farsari, who is also our program coordinator. It was a bit of a shock to my system when we first started because the amount of reading was quite hefty. After the shock slowly wore off it became more manageable. I realised quite quickly that good time management is key, and even if you don’t have good time management, you will still survive. During the course we got a better insight at the different perspectives involved when considering sustainable development and you realise there is no one size fits all solution. This makes it a very challenging and interesting subject.

The following course was ‘managing and interpreting natural and cultural heritage sites’, a whole mouthful as you can see. This is my personal favorite because cultural heritage really interests me. Some of my classmates found this course a bit more difficult because it required a lot of self study. There were some interesting guest lectures planned and we had the visit from the Finnish students as well, which was all very fun to listen to and to experience. I believe the guest lectures add a lot to all the courses, for the guest speakers have their own experiences and the atmosphere is always very open for asking questions.

Now the first two courses were both 100% which means it’s the only thing you’re studying for a period of 5 weeks. The two last courses were both 50% which means you study both courses at the same time for a period of 10 weeks.

One of the last courses was ‘place and destination marketing’. Also one of my favorite courses because through the seminars I really gained a lot of new insight into this topic. It had been a bit foreign to me before. It focusses on how destinations market themselves but it really looks behind the scenes, rather than being very hands-on. This I appreciated as it is a view that I hadn’t taken on before. The other course was called ‘event tourism- marketing, planning & evaluation’. This one didn’t really have my fancy, but that’s because events don’t really interest me. This course had a lot of practical exercises which some of us enjoyed, instead of just reading the whole time. It was a very busy last period however as these two courses ran side by side. They had some overlapping features which is not strange if you consider they are quite similar in some areas. Both these courses ended with a term paper which was a bit tough during the Christmas holiday, but we managed!

I’ve really enjoyed this program so far and I truly feel I’ve already learned quite a lot at a faster pace than I did during my bachelor. We’ve covered a range of different topics that are all interesting or relevant in their own way. It really helps when you discuss such different topics in helping you find your own interest (if you didn’t already know). If you are considering following the TDD program but are still doubting or you have some questions, please feel free to write something below!

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