Laurie Bryne was keen to travel overseas when he began searching for a placement for his BA (Hons) Tourism Management course.
“I wanted to do something different and to be able to stand out from the crowd. My experience has definitely shaped me as a person, given me confidence and enabled me to understand the career I’d like to progress in.”
He spent his year working at the Rainforest Retreat on the Mojo Plantation in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, India. It’s a fully sustainable eco-resort, but as it’s a small business Laurie had the opportunity to get involved with a variety of roles.
“I led plantation tours, where I taught the guests about the agricultural practices of the organic spice plantation that the retreat is set on, and I also led guided treks that included bird watching and identifying other flora and fauna.”
“I also participated in giving presentations about the biodiversity of the local area, as well as working closely with the owners on the operations of the retreat. They’ve developed effective organic farming practices and have managed to get other farmers to adopt their ideas.”
Laurie's experiences in India have inspired him to look to the eco-tourism industry for jobs after graduation. “I’m currently applying for positions in similar businesses in South America.”
He strongly recommends going overseas for a placement year: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to grasp. Living in another country allows you to immerse yourself within its culture, giving you a greater understanding than if you were a tourist."
Taking the risk and going out of your comfort zone definitely is worth the experience you gain in the end.”