Mansfield students enjoy a taste of Scandinavia
“If I got offered the chance to go abroad again I would take it in a heartbeat, it’s been an amazing experience.”
These are the words of a Mansfield college student after returning from a trip to Scandinavia.
Students from Vision West Nottinghamshire College visited Denmark and Finland as part of Erasmus+, the European social-mobility programme for education, training, youth and sport.
Hospitality, travel, beauty and business students went to Finland, while hospitality, catering and public services students headed to Denmark – with media students accompanying both trips to document what went on.
In Finland, the students’ home for the 10-day visit was the Jyvaskyla Educational Consortium in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland.
Business students took part in marketing and enterprise workshops before setting up a small company, creating confectionery bundles and building a Christmas market stall to sell their products.
Meanwhile, travel students worked at the Scandi Laajavuouri Hotel supporting with events and setting up rooms for hotel functions, developing their hospitality, customer care and management skill.
Hospitality students worked in the restaurant, while beauty therapists were able to try out new techniques and treatments and worked on clients in the salon.
Front of house students and friends Reece Zadins and Patrick Murray, both from Selston, relished their visit abroad.
Patrick, aged 19, says: “We went to see an ice hockey game which was amazing. I didn’t think I would like ice hockey but I loved it and want to see another match. It was a brilliant atmosphere and it was good mixing with the other members of the group.
“We were lucky to get snow too. It was a blizzard – I’m a big fan of snow so I was out there.”
Seventeen-year-old Reece said: “We made great friends with other members of the group who we don’t normally see in college. We’re good friends now and we meet up lots now.
“Socially we had fun with a Come Dine With Me-style competition. We all went shopping and bought our bag of ingredients. We’re not used to cooking as we’re front of house students, so there were a few small disasters, but it was a very good experience.”
Hospitality and catering students visited Zealand Business College in Slagelse, Denmark, to see what life is like in their training kitchens.
They had the chance to practise Danish recipes and learn to plate food the Danish way.
Josh Bradwell, an 18-year-old professional cookery student from Mansfield Woodhouse, said: “I enjoyed the cooking in Denmark – we had a lot more freedom in their kitchens.
“Their catering curriculum is quite different to ours. They use a lot more offcuts and offal in their meals.
“Everyone was really friendly and I loved the trips out into Copenhagen. It’s a beautiful city.”
Public services students were based an hour away at Zealand college’s Roskilde campus, where they learned first aid and firefighting training.
They also went orienteering with the Danish students and endured daily fitness routines including a two-kilometre run.
Georgia Geere, 17, from Sutton, said: “My favourite activities were firefighting, meeting the G4S security guards and the boat trip around Copenhagen.
“It meant I could learn more about the Danish culture and compare the way Danish people live in comparison with the English.
“The firefighting taught me new skills and made me more aware of how to keep myself safe in my everyday life.
“This visit has helped me improve my leadership skills, communication skills and being able to work as a team effectively.
“It’s a good idea for students to visit places abroad like this, as it gives them the opportunity to make new friends, travel to a new place, learn new things and become more independent.”