A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work in Spain has put Bath College students on the front line of the tourism industry.
The 13 students were selected for an all-expenses-paid six-week internship with some of the biggest travel companies in the heart of Seville.
They are welcoming the city’s hundreds of thousands of visitors in high-profile jobs such as tour operators, walking tour guides, and receptionists at youth hostels.
It is the first time the College has benefitted from the ERASMUS Plus funding for students to work in the Travel & Tourism industry in Spain with flights, accommodation, food and weekly allowances covered.
The 12 Travel and Tourism students and one Business student are staying with host families from April 20 to June 1 as they work a variety of shifts for about 30 hours a week.
Kate Hobbs, Deputy Head of the Travel & Tourism department at Bath College, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to develop the employability of our students and to encourage cultural enrichment.
“They are experiencing what it’s like to work in another country while living within a different culture and using a different language.
“They are all working very hard in customer-facing roles and gaining a broad range of work-ready skills.”
Each of the 2nd year Level 3 students went through a robust process to apply for the internship, including creating a CV, filling in an application form and being put on the spot in an interview.
The students also had to undergo an intensive six-week Spanish language course at Bath College and are continuing to take weekly Spanish lessons with Third Sector International in Seville.
They also have to keep up-to-date with their coursework so that they aren’t behind when they return to College, which includes emailed assignments and Skype tutorials.
Kate added: “I’m so proud of how well they are coping; it’s been a steep learning curve as they’ve completely stepped outside of their comfort zones.
“Some of the cultural differences can be challenging, it’s the first time they’ve been away from home for so long and they can be outside in the heat for long periods.
“But they are working so hard and have been very positive about new and exciting experiences.
“This will look great on their CVs and some of the students are already keen to apply for seasonal jobs overseas.”
The students have named themselves the ‘Seville Squad’ and are sharing their experiences on Twitter and via blogs on Tumblr.
To find out more about Travel and Tourism courses at Bath College visit the website at www.www.bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 312191.
Pictured above: Bath College’s Travel & Tourism and Business students on their six-week work experience in Seville.