From finding a new family to developing key career skills and having the opportunity to experience work placements, Yujun Yao tells us why she chose the Shannon College of Hotel Management as her study abroad destination in Ireland…

Shannon College was founded in 1951 by Dr. Brendan O’Regan and is based close to Shannon Airport, County Clare. It’s been three years since I began studying in Shannon College and this blog is all about the reasons why I’m glad I chose to study abroad here!

Finding a new family

If you were to ask me if I feel homesick here or if it difficult to adapt to such a new place, my answer would be a big no because of the new family I have here in Ireland. My Shannon family! The idea of the ‘Shannon family’ was installed int my head when I just entered the college. All of the teachers here are really kind and the senior students are very helpful. Each new student is assigned a mentor who can help better understand the college and their new college life. Although there is an 8310km distance from here to my hometown, I feel like I’m home! In this college, no matter where are you from, no matter what age are you, you can be a part of this big family and everyone here make close friends.

Developing practical skills

Another reason I love this college is down to the fact that they provide placements for students. The year two work placement is a 12-month practical training based on knowledge gained in your first year. Placement locations include Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, the UK and Ireland. As for me, I got a chance to work in Clontarf Castle Hotel, which is a 4-star hotel in Dublin. Through the whole year’s training, I’ve had the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of culinary art, discover how to care for the customer as well as experience the day-to-day operations of a busy hotel. My placement has been one of my most memorable experiences ever!

Learning management skills

Management is difficult skill and in order to constantly sharpen and refine our management skills after the practical year, year three focuses on gaining further knowledge about the hotel industry. Students are given the opportunity to showcase leadership ability at different kinds of college events and in our group project and in year four, we also have a chance to choose an elective topic to further study. For example, we can  choose one more language to learn, or a course about wine, culinary art, event management etc.

Interested in studying abroad? Visit the Education in Ireland website for more information