My family and friends back home could see right through me; imbedded in my
announcement that “I am moving to Europe to earn a master’s degree in tourism
management” was the implicit statement: “[and to spend the next two years
traveling to as many places and countries as I can”].
As someone who could drive two-thousand miles without reaching the opposite end of my country, the opportunity to study at three universities in three countries spanning Europe is quite the novelty. Without venturing beyond the borders of the program countries, you are already exposed to influences of the Germanic, Slavic, and Romantic worlds, not to mention the more or less two dozen unique cultures of fellow classmates. And while the structured programming of EMTM in and of itself is a rich opportunity for cultural immersion, here’s another perk: you will have plenty of time (during official mid-term breaks!) to travel as well.
As soon as you finish your final lesson about the (un)sustainability of airline travel, you could head to the airport and fly to Lisbon to meet up with your mom and sister (but make sure to check the option to add a carbon offset to your low-budget Ryanair flight); after learning about the nuances of the European Union, you could take a bus (again, don’t forget the offset!) throughout a handful of Balkan countries during the Easter holidays; or you could take a weekend trip to experience Carnevale in Venice or sip wine in Provence, all without missing a single day of class.
Travel is better experienced in the company of friends, and the beauty of EMTM is that in a matter of months, complete strangers from across the world transform into travel and road trip buddies. Sometimes the best adventures can even be spontaneous and unplanned. To get a taste of what I mean, last spring when I was on a bus from Ljubljana to transfer in Zagreb for a meticulously planned trip down the coast of Croatia and beyond, the last thing I expected was to be on the same bus as my classmates (following an entirely different route through the Balkans) and, moreover, over the course of the 1.5-hour ride to decide to completely abandon my plans and go with them on their road trip instead (and catch up later on my itinerary from Montenegro on). The opportunities are endless and, with Europe as your backyard, there is so much to explore. Perhaps you may even be invited to stay with a classmate’s family during the holidays, as I have had the pleasure to do.
EMTM is an adventure; while it is first and foremost an academic investment in your future, it is also an opportunity to see the world while making friends along the way. The EMTM experience is a multicultural one, and it is only natural that your opportunities in the program will lead you to places far and wide.
Written by Dominic Gialdini, Student of EMTM Generation 2018-2020.