Aija Grunsteina

BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management


Aija is a student on the BSc International Tourism and Hospitality Management course. She came to the University to pursue her dream of running her own tea tourism business and tells us about her experiences along the way.

The International Tourism and Hospitality Management degree had everything I was looking for.

I’ve been living in the UK for about ten years now. I’m originally from Latvia, and after travelling around Europe for a bit, I decided to settle here work in the hospitality sector. I’ve had exciting roles in bars, restaurants and hotels. But I knew I had to take it further. That’s when I came across the University of Sunderland in London.

I did a lot of research before making my choice. I wanted to be sure that I went to a University that would help me pursue my dream of running my own to tourism-related company. After comparing different universities, the University of Sunderland in London stood out. It has some really unique modules which really appealed to me and my future career plans. I want to develop an online booking platform for tea education and tourism, linking consumers and producers. I have a lot of experience and passion, but I needed the knowledge too. The BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management degree had everything I was looking for. I knew it was my opportunity to develop my skills and gain the knowledge I would need to reach my career goals. 

I’m coming to the end of my degree now, and I can honestly say that I had the best experience. Another excellent aspect of the course is that the staff always go above and beyond to help students and encourage us to dream big and work on life-changing goals. But more than just the academic side of things, I’ve been a part of a truly great community. I was a member of the Travel and Tourism Society, which takes you on trips around the UK. It was a great way to explore the country and meet people that are like-minded and share my passion for travelling, exploring and learning.

I’m proud that I have been a part of the Student Ambassador programme. We worked with the University to help out at events throughout the year, including open days, inductions and graduations. It’s been useful to learn things like public speaking and working as a part of a team, those skills will support me in my future professional life. But mostly it’s just been a rewarding experience helping to give my fellow students the best experience possible.

Find out more about becoming a Student Ambassador in our Student Life pages. If you’d like to take your next steps, visit the BSc International Tourism and Hospitality Management.

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