We at RMC take great pride at how students and recent graduates who we hire from different parts of the world are enjoying their Educational Travel experience in Asia. It is with their success stories that we get inspired in continuing our actions towards coordinating and executing quality internship and management training within Asia’s hospitality industry.
Stefanie Repnik from Austria was hired as an intern in the Food & Beverage Department of Havana Social in Bangkok, Thailand. She shares with us some of her insights during her first few months as an Educational Traveler in Asia. Let’s read her amusing narration about her experience below!
ARRIVING AT PROGRAM DESTINATION
Arriving at Bangkok for my journey was very well organized by RMC. A staff from RMC fetched me at the airport and took me to my hotel which they already prepared for me. At the hotel, they offered me a very clean and big room and with a free breakfast!
Bank from RMC was very nice and helpful in finding an apartment for me. He helped me talk with the locals so I could easily find a decent accommodation. It was quite a challenging day for us but thankfully I ended up the day productively and was finally able to sleep at my new apartment for the duration of my program in Bangkok.
Bank also taught me tips about the local transportation in the city especially the trains, so I did not have any problems familiarizing them. On the other hand, however, I learned that some local motorcycle guys will charge foreigners more than the normal rate for motorcycle rides. This happened to me a couple of times already, so I have learned my lesson to be careful in choosing a motorcycle driver around Bangkok.
LIFE AS AN INTERNATIONAL INTERN
About my work at the host company, I had a funny impression of my Manager, Gabriel, because he asked me some questions which I did not expect. It turns out that he is really a fun and nice person. He is a professional colleague but also a friend at the same time. After more than a month of working for Havana Social, Gabriel already taught me a lot of things about work and about getting by in the city. More importantly, he showed me a new and different perspective of the hospitality industry and I am excited that I am discovering something new every day. It was a bit challenging to adjust during the first few days but it was also very easy to feel at home at the workplace because the people are really nice.
One of my favorite things about this journey so far is my colleagues at work. They are one of the best people I have met so far! Everyone is different and unique in their own way but we always find a way to bond together as a team. Despite the cultural differences and language barriers, everyone is very polite and nice to me. And now after being here for some time, it feels like I have a new little own family here in Asia. It’s nice to know that I am not alone in this part of the world which is quite far from home.
IMMERSING WITH THE LOCAL CULTURE
I haven’t learned a lot about Thai culture yet but I’m sure I will throughout the duration of my internship program. Some colleagues showed me very nice places and told me stories about their culture, but I don’t know everything about it yet. Thai culture is way different from our culture in Austria but not in a bad way. I admire the Thai people for embracing their religion and beliefs seriously. On the other hand, I am looking forward to discovering and visiting more of Thai’s most coveted tourist destinations!
ADVICE TO EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL ENTHUSIASTS
If I have to give any advice to other future trainees that RMC would hire for other host companies, be sure to bring extra amount of money if you want to grab the chance to discover the beauty of your program destination or if you want to make the most out of your experience!
Lastly, thank you to RMC for helping me get to where I am right now. Despite the challenges I have experienced along the way, I am enjoying the journey so far!
Stefanie is currently in her 3rd month as an intern at Havana Social. Her 6-month Hospitality Internship Asia Program will be completed by April 2020! Good luck and congratulations in advance, Stefanie!