Carlotta Colombi

“The Grand Tour programme is a unique opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture.”
Carlotta Colombi
Tourism Management student

Carlotta Colombi has long been passionate about traveling and exploring new cultures, including leaving her Italian high school to spend an exchange semester in Australia. Her passion brought her to the Netherlands to study Tourism Management and has now led her to Thailand with the Grand Tour programme. 


“The tourism industry is growing rapidly and offers a wide range of career opportunities. I want to take advantage of that so that I can travel and experience different parts of the world. Many people assume that a degree in tourism management only leads to careers in travel agencies or hospitality, but there’s actually a huge range of possibilities: I could go into event planning, destination marketing, sustainable tourism development, tourism policymaking or tourism research. And as this tourism management programme combines both business and tourism knowledge, I’m gaining a solid foundation in both. I also like that the programme looks at the impact on local communities. While tourism can bring economic benefits to local communities, it can also have negative impacts such as environmental degradation, cultural commodification, or social inequality. This study explores these issues and equips us with the skills to develop sustainable tourism practices that will benefit both tourists and local communities.” 

Cross-cultural understanding 

“Tourism is often seen to promote cultural exchange and understanding between different countries and cultures. The tourism management programme emphasises the importance of this cultural intelligence. For me, the Grand Tour is a unique opportunity to get to know a completely new culture and better understand a different way of life. It’s also a chance to study in a very different environment and gain a fresh perspective on the academic subjects I’m taking, namely Business Innovation and Marketing, and Entrepreneurship in Action. Of course, it’s also good for my career prospects as I’m gaining valuable skills and experiences such as intercultural communication skills, adaptability and independence.” 

Live life to its fullest 

“The programme in Leeuwarden has a multicultural atmosphere and there’s lots of collaboration in group work and on case studies. It’s also a dynamic programme simply because the industry is also so dynamic with new technology and changing consumer behaviour. The setup of the Grand Tour  minors means that you actually follow an NHL Stenden programme but in a different country. It means your classmates are all from NHL Stenden and the educational approach is the same (so design-based education). It’s outside the class, that you get to explore the local culture. All of the Thai people I’ve met have been very kind and tried to help in every situation, even when there’s been the struggle of the language barrier. Now that I’ve finished my first minor of the Grand Tour, I’ve realized that Thailand has reminded me to enjoy and live each moment of my life at its fullest.” 

To find out more about the programme, check out the Tourism Management programme page or request the programme brochure. Or check out the different international opportunities NHL Stenden offers.