16 January 2020

Three groups of students from West Nottinghamshire College have recently enjoyed European adventures and industrial experience in Denmark and Finland, as part of the European social-mobility programme for education, training, youth and sport, Erasmus+.

Study placements at colleges in Denmark and Finland supported them to complete their mandatory work placement hours, which is now a condition of most college courses.

Hospitality and catering students visited the Zealand Business College in Slagelse, Denmark, at the end of November, to see what life is like in their training kitchens. The group had the opportunity to practise Danish recipes as well as get creative with plating food the Danish way. They were able to taste the new foods, discuss the flavours and compare to the English dishes they are used to working with back in the UK.

Students were able to live independently for the ten-day visit, taking the responsibility to organise themselves for work in the kitchens each day. Each group took on the tasks of preparing their own meals and cleaning.

18 year-old professional cookery student Josh Bradwell said: “I enjoyed the cooking in Denmark, we had a lot more freedom in their kitchens. Their catering curriculum is quite different to ours. They use a lot more offcuts and offal in their meals.

“Everyone was really friendly and I loved the trips out into Copenhagen. We had a few meals out at a Chinese and a steak house. It’s a beautiful city.”

The next group in line for the Danish experience were public services and media students who ventured to the Zealand Business College based in Roskilde - an hour away from the Slagelse campus. Their time away concentrated on learning first aid and firefighting training which enhanced their teamwork skills. They had some adventurous times during orienteering activities with the Danish students, as well as daily fitness routines such as a 2km run.

Media students accompanied the public services students on the visit and used their filming and editing skills to put together a series of daily videos documenting the overseas trip. They used their latest filming techniques including the use of drone camera technology to capture the whole group’s activities, resulting in some very professional final video edits.

Public services student Georgia Geere, 17, said: “My favourite activities were firefighting, meeting the G4S security guards and the boat trip around Copenhagen. It meant I could learn more about the Danish culture and compare the way that Danish people live in comparison to the English.

“The firefighting taught me new skills and made me more aware of how to keep myself safe in my everyday life. This visit has helped me to improve my leadership skills, communication skills and being able to work as a team effectively. 

“It’s a good idea for students to visit places abroad like this as it gives them the opportunity to make new friends, travel to a new place, learn new things and become more independent.”

Socially, the students ventured into Copenhagen to see the sights and learnt about the history of the Danish monarchs. They had a day in the Tivoli Gardens which is the second oldest amusement Park in the world, and saw The Tower of Copenhagen too.

The final stop in November was to snowy Finland which was visited by hospitality, travel, beauty and business and media learners. Their home for the ten-day visit was the Jyvaskyla Educational Consortium in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland.

Budding entrepreneurs from the business course put their skills into motion after taking part in marketing and enterprise workshops. They established their own small company, creating confectionary bundles and building a Christmas market stall to sell their products.

Meanwhile travel students worked at the Scandi Laajavuouri Hotel, supporting with events and setting up rooms for hotel functions – honing their hospitality, customer care and management studies.

Busy days and nights in a restaurant was the schedule for hospitality students as they learnt the catering ropes and how to set the table in the Finnish way. They were able to help the Finnish students prepare for their national skills competition as well.

Beauty therapists were able to try out new techniques and treatments and worked on clients in the salon.

Media learners were active with their filming skills again and created a documentary showing their fellow students performing their roles. They were able to swap and share media and filming skills with Finnish media students too.

Front of house students and friends Reece Zadins, 17, and Patrick Murray, 19, really relished their visit abroad.

Patrick said: “We went to see an ice hockey game which was amazing. I didn’t think I would like ice hockey but I loved it and want to see another match. It was a brilliant atmosphere and it was good mixing with the other members of the group.

“We were lucky to get snow too! It was a blizzard – I’m a big fan of snow so I was out there!”

Reece said: “We made great friends with other members of the group who we don’t normally see in college. We’re good friends now and we meet up lots now.

“Socially we had fun with a ‘Come Dine With Me’ style competition. We all went shopping and bought our bag of ingredients. We’re not used to cooking as we’re front of house students, so there were a few small disasters! But it was a very good experience.

Patrick added: “If I got offered the chance to go abroad again I would take it in a heartbeat. It’s been an amazing experience.”



Thank you to Rebecca Howarth from West Nottinghamshire College for submitting this news story. If you would like to share a news story from your organisation, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at media@skillsedugroup.co.uk