Vincent Gonnella

“Get out there and try to make an effort to get the best out of your time.”
Vincent Gonnella
Tourism Management student

Vincent Gonnella ‘s decision to study Tourism Management was easy – once he’d found out about the options at NHL Stenden. Now in his third year, he’s exploring a different city, Munich in Germany. And though he comes from Germany himself, it’s a completely new experience. 

“After finishing high school, I was very overwhelmed by all the things that you can do nowadays. I actually had no idea of I wanted to do with myself and with my life. Especially in a big city it is quite hard to find something that you actually want to do. I knew that going to a university in Germany was not really working for me, so I started looking around and actually found an advertisement for NHL Stenden in a university brochure. I started looking more into what NHL Stenden had on offer and stumbled across the bachelor programme Tourism Management. The next thing I knew, I was at the open day in Leeuwarden. I immediately knew I wanted to study Tourism Management. Tourism is such a versatile and big industry and I’ve always loved travelling, but I also wanted to learn more about this industry in a professional way. Added to this the fact that it’s a management programme and all in all, it was a good choice.” 

New experiences 

“It’s an added bonus that the programme also focuses on sustainability but also that we have industry-related projects. We work on the projects in small groups and the whole process is very different and innovative, which made it very appealing as something new. I like that the programme has a familiar atmosphere and feels like a safe space. And there’s always a lecturer that is happy to support you and provide you with tips and tricks.  

For my semester abroad, I think I knew that I wanted to gain experience at a different university and see how they taught tourism management. I also enjoyed the aspect of it being something that I had to mostly organise myself. Grand Tour sounded appealing but everything seems planned out and I liked the fact that I needed to be organised and more independent for exchange. I ended up going to Munich University of Applied Sciences. I know it might sound strange for a German to go to Germany for their ERASMUS exchange programme but to be honest Munich wasn’t planned: it just ended up being my exchange destination. Still, I am very happy to be here as it is my first time in Munich. So even though the city is in Germany, it is a completely new experience.  

Get the most out of your studies 

It was a bit hard finding accommodation in Munich, but it was doable. And although I was prepared for the more traditional, theoretical approach, it’s still been something I’ve had to get used to. I do miss the small classes, the hands-on approach and the facilities NHL Stenden has but the atmosphere is nice and I like the fact that I can look into more than one area of tourism, such as international marketing and leadership or mega events in tourism.   

All in all, I would say be open minded, be adventurous, get out of your comfort zone and take every opportunity you get to meet new people. I think this is advice that is applicable to NHL Stenden, as well as your exchange semester. You need to get out there and make an effort to get the best out of your time at NHL Stenden and your exchange semester! 

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.