Travel & Tourism Management

What Studying Travel & Tourism Management is Like- Distance Learning Course

As I am writing this I am listening to my Finnish lecturer talk with my Icelandic classmate. I am sat in an office at work in Northern Norway. Our course leader is in Tromsø, our online moderator is in Rovaniemi, Finland and my groupmate is from Malta. It is an interactive online space unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.

I am currently enrolled in a distance learning course from the University of Tromsø (the Arctic University of Norway)- created in cooperation with the NarFU Northern Arctic Federal University in Russia and LAPIN AMK Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Basically, it is the Barents region, Nordic Region, the Arctic region, or Lapland, depending on what you know it as and what makes sense to you. What tourism in these areas has in common is a focus on native tourism, nature-based adventure tourism and natural phenomenons like Northern Lights and Midnight Sun.


In theory I could sit anywhere in the world, and as long I have internet and am awake as the lecture is live I can participate, “raise my hand” with a button and talk by turning my microphone on. It is perfect for travellers, and as an extra course alongside work or other studies.

It’s not free of problems however. The work-load can be overwhelming at times, as you learn about the tourism industry, business planning, business management and ways of thinking about tourism in sociological terms. I am expected to write a thesis, but it is not a Masters degree, nor is it enough credits to be a Bachelors. It is a One-year diploma, created to quickly expand your knowledge on all things tourism, particularly about tourism in Arctic areas. We also do a lot of group work, never meeting or seeing our groupmates in person. Learning to work in groups using only the internet and online tools to cooperate can be tough, but the content of the course is so very interesting for those who are interested in the field.

As a   Media and Communications graduate I view the audience experience very differently than before I began my degree. I view video, advertising and cultural outputs differently. I view text and image with new, critical eyes. And as a student of Travel & Tourism Management I am now starting to view travelling differently.

Studying Travel & Tourism Management is learning both business and societal factors of the tourism industry, but it is also complicating the travel experience and questioning the tourism moment. How do we meet natives? How do we preserve or destroy culture? What happens before, during and after a tourism boom?`How do we promote and create sustainable places of work, particularly in rural areas? How do we protect nature when nature itself becomes a product? Why does “dark tourism” exist?

I am finding the course and the courswork challenging, but so interesting.  I am also loving the business management aspects of it. Previously I didn’t want to take elective business classes due to the general nature of them, but framed by tourism the course is highly enganging.  Learning across borders brings challenges in terms of cultures, but it also brings benefits in terms of contacts, networks and perspective.

Despite occasionally having trouble balancing full-time work with university I know for a fact that this course is leading me down a path I want to be on work-wise. And what better course for an avid traveller then a Tourism course?



2016, Expat Life, Other, Studying Abroad

Oh, time how you pass too quick.

Hey, ya´ll. It’s been six months. I wrote a bachelors dissertation. Explanation done. No, but really. I have missed blogging and writing down the details of my journeys both big and small so much. There just hasn’t been enough time or energy or mental health left in me to do so. So let’s update you all on my life now, and then start the actual blogging again next week with a post about Dublin in February.

I finished university! I am graduating! I gave myself anxiety and a panic attack in the process but I got there! The past six months were draining. That is all I will say about the subject for now. Draining but in hindsight a valuable experience and definitely something to learn from. University has for me been a wonderful and adventurous time, but I am looking forward to the new chapter and new challenges.

Long Distance Relationship
So I have written a couple of posts in the past about my LDR and how to deal with the sadness of it. I am still in an LDR and still dealing with the sadness of it, but also the joy of it and the happy moments in between. Once our current four weeks of summer time together comes to a close I will share some of my other thoughts on the subject, because dayum, it is hard.

I did a fair bit of traveling in the past six months, hitting up Dublin, Copenhagen, Rio De Janeiro, Eurovision and Stockholm, York, Scarborough and some home time in between lectures and seminars. Posts about all of these to come in time. 🙂

What’s to Come

I am currently sat in my flat in Newcastle upon Tyne, counting down the days until graduation and moving. I am not moving anywhere exciting, I am moving home. Home to family and friends, home to a job offer, home to help and grow and reconnect with everything I was so eager to run away from when I moved abroad. For a few months anyway 😉 In 2017 I am off again to new places and new adventures, hopefully feeling a lot more settled and a lot less confused about what I want to do with my life.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but the next six months are sort of sorted in terms of what I am doing. I will be graduating, I will be moving home to Northern Norway and I will continue the journey that is being 22 years old and down with a serious case of wanderlust.

Love, Cat xxx


Life, Studying Abroad, Youtube

I’m back, England! And it’s a mixed feeling sort of situation…

My return to England has been a success! I’m BACCCCKHHH.

I have to admit that it’s odd being back. And not because I moved back into my flat and immediately got reunited with my dust mite/mold allergy (why carpets Britain? WHYYY). It’s odd being back because it’s like a different life. Different food, different people, different routines, different activities. I’ve left one home for another, once again having to readjust my thinking to a different way of life  – its liberating and stressful  and exhilarating all rolled into one.

The first couple of days back I did errands and slept and being back at university didn’t really register. Then friday happened and 3 hours into the Newcastle University International Welcome Day I looked around me at all the other Society stands, and it hit me. My third year has arrived. My third and LAST year. How weird is that? I never planned for anything after university because university was always the goal. And now university is almost over. I’m slightly terrified by the prospect of writing a dissertation and finishing uni, but being back in the student bubble is amazing. What do I do when uni ends? Then what? *entering black mental hole of future doom*

Luckily I don’t really have time to think about that now that I’m back being busy again – thank God. Yesterday and today was spent in Photoshop making event headers for Facebook events, on stand at the Fresher’s Fair and in meetings. Being the  PR Officer of the Erasmus Society is a varied, but fun role! Tomorrow is when the real bizz starts however, with a 9.30am induction followed by a meeting with the (so far unknown) person who will be my dissertation supervisor.  Wish me luck! Xxx

Ps: BlubImNotAFish tagged me in the Harry Potter Tag so that video is now up on my Youtube channel!


From Northern Norway to Newcastle via Oslo and Stockholm


The summer is over and I’m now in the midst of packing to go back to Newcastle for my second to last semester at Newcastle University. As you can see by the map however, it won’t be going straight to my favorite city. This because before I head back England I’m going to have a brief four day stop at my Aunts and Uncles house in Oslo to see my cousins for the first time in a year, then go to Stockholm and see my Kjære again for another 10 days. I doubt I will exploring Oslo much as I’ve been there every year since I was about 7 (and some years more than once) , but I will definitely be enjoying Stockholm and sharing my Swedish adventures with you!

It will be odd seeing Kjæres new flat and his new home for the year, but I’m excited to get to take part in his abroad experience a little, no matter how much I wish he was actually living with me instead 😛 

I can’t wait to return to England and tea and university life after a long summer of working my butt off. Come Monday I will be adventuring out into the world again and away from my hometown bubble once more and I swear it will be glorious! Xxx

Expat Life, Life, Studying Abroad

A Lesson In Exchange Rates

I recently had a bit of a financial heart attack. For a couple of hours I feared for my future and cursed my country and questioned the point of student finance when it doesn’t even finance my studies. See, the exchange rate between the Norwegian Krone and the British Pound  went from about 9,50 kroner to the pound to 11,50 kroner to the pound in a year and a half. Then, on december 16th 2014 (couldn’t find an English source for this, only Norwegian ones, but here is a translated version)  we had a massive drop that has since then only kept dropping, putting the Norwegian Krone at an all time low. One pound costs 25,5% more Krone than it did just a year ago.The Krone has dropped from 11.50 to 13 kroner to the pound in the last 6 months alone.The exchange rate has never been this bad, and because the Norwegian oil fund is less worth by the day it keeps falling.

Adult life is hard

I pay an international student turition fee and because international tuition fees (the fact that I don’t get to pay EU fees when we’re a part of the EEA because a former Norwegian government threw away students rights during trade negotiations is an entire rant on it’s own) at English universities are usually horrendously high my tuition fees have skyrocketed. A year ago I would have payed 50 000 NOK less in tution fees than I have to now, soley because of the exchange rate. 50 000 NOK is a lot of money. I could travel the world for 50 000 NOK. Or get three return flights to Australia. Or go on a luxury 3 week holiday. Or go to Vietnam on a 12 day Contiki experience… twice.

It is therefore also unfortunate that these 50 000 kroner is what I have to cover myself because  Lånekassen (Literally BorrowBox, the Norwegian student Finance system) doesn’t cover it. They have a maximum loan sum you see, and though I would have stayed well below it had the exchange rate stayed stable, I am now well above it, though the british GBP sum hasn’t changed. GAAAAAAAH FRUSTRATION. This means that I probably won’t be able to travel as much as I was hoping to because the money I make from my part-time job and three months of work during the summer will go straight to try and cover my expenses.

Lånekassen to every student currently abroad struggling With finances

Life threw me a bit of a curveball here because of the world economy changing (which is interesting, but also terrifying)  and I’m not happy about losing my travel money, but I have now resigned myself to the fact that there is nothing I can do about the situation. Zilch. I will just have to accept that most of my Norwegian maintanence loan will go into the tuition fees account instead of my rent, get a part-time job and make it work. I’m not able to make lemonade out of this situation, but I can at least bite the sour lemon and try to make the best of it. And I’m sure learning a lot about exchange rates and how to speculate in money.

Let’s pray the exhange rates improve over the next month, or at the very least that they don’t get any worse.

#FrustratedCat  Xxx