Two students of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pécs had the opportunity to participate in the unique, experiential learning course International Tourism and Hospitality Academy at Sea (ITHAS) that has been created by Dr. Nevenka Čavlek, professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business. They sailed the Persian Gulf on board of the Shabab Oman II, at the invitation of the Royal Navy of Oman. This time, we asked Regina Rétei, Economist in Tourism and Catering major, about her experiences at the academy.
What was your motivation to go on an adventure like this?
Mostly curiosity. One of my goals in life is to visit as many countries as possible and I thought that this would be a wonderful opportunity to discover some of these countries.
What was this one month with ITHAS like?
It was one of the best months of my life! I expanded my knowledge of the sustainability of the countries I visited, and through the Dubai Expo I was able to meet the cultures of even more countries. Since we only communicated in English, I was able to develop this as well. It was also very special to experience sailing life, especially as Shabab Oman II belongs to the Royal Navy of Oman. We made lifelong friendships there with the students, the professors, and also the crew of the ship. We actually felt like we were one family.
Was there a challenge in it?
I would say it has been a challenge to get used to the naval order, because it was unusual to have to go to line-ups every morning, to have our time accurately allocated by the minute, and to actually live that life, to do as much work as sailors. It was also strange that we did not have unlimited internet access and could rarely contact our family and friends.
Interview by: Mariann TÓTH
Photos: Regina Rétei