Students from Sussex Coast College returned to college earlier this month with newly found skills after completing a four week work experience placement in Spain.
7 students from the college travelled to Seville in Spain, along with students from Mid-Kent and West Kent colleges, after receiving funding from the European Union.
The successful bid, which secured funding from the Erasmus Plus project, enabled the students to spend 4 weeks in Spain, working in hotels, backpacking hostels, tapas restaurants, and for city tour companies.
The students stayed in apartments, just a short walk from the city centre, and were given their own independence as they had to cook for themselves, clean, and do their own laundry. The students worked 5 hours a day from Wednesday to Sunday, and had a range of activities laid on for them by 3SI, who helped to ensure the students had everything they needed while in Spain.
Business students, Reef Atkinson and Rhys Hodd, worked at the Oasis Backpacker’s Palace and enjoyed working with and meeting lots of different people.
Rhys said: “We had a really nice variation of shifts, getting a good sense of what the business was all about. We would often work the morning shift to help serve breakfast to the guests, and we’d have the rest of the day free to explore the city.”
Reef said: “The tours that or 3SI had arranged for us were really enjoyable. We were given a history lesson as we cycled around the city; we visited the Guadalquivir Gardens, and went to the Plaza de Espana.”
Catering students, Emily Carter and Annie Starr, worked in a popular tapas bar called Anojo. The pair helped head chef, Adrian, prepare lots of different tapas dishes, cooked with lots of traditional Spanish ingredients, and served in the restaurant.
Emily said: “Adrian was a great boss. We were well looked after as he helped us to settle in, taught us some Spanish, suggested some top sights to see on our days off, and he even gave us lunch now and again.”
Annie said: “Our apartment was really close to town and it was really easy to get to work. We had a lot of independence and as a group we planned weekly dinners, went to the supermarket together, and all cooked and ate together.”
Dominique Hooper, Natasha Crosby and Alexa Loft also thoroughly enjoyed their time in Spain, helping them to make new friends and give them more of an idea about what they want to do after college.
Dominique, who studies catering, said: “It has definitely inspired me to travel and carry on in the catering industry. I’d love to work abroad in a restaurant gaining as much experience of different foods and cultures as I can.”
Natasha, who studies business, said: “Seville is such a beautiful city. It has amazing architecture and has such a relaxed feel to it. The whole culture of the city is a lot different to the UK. We would often have lunch at 4pm or 5pm, and sometimes go out for dinner at around 10pm, where they would still be serving food late into the night.”
Alexa, a catering student, said: “The whole experience was amazing and I would definitely do it again if I could. The 7 of us rarely saw each other at college before the trip, but thanks to the four weeks, we came back to college having made some really great friends.”
The college secured €409,000 from the Erasmus Plus project to enable 8 groups of students to travel to Spain over the next two years. The college has also recently submitted another successful bid to secure €750,000, which will fund a further 12 trips.