Tourism and Travel students experience Norway



Led by program coordinator Bob McElman and professor Roger Halfacre, 19 participants safely touched down at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Oct. 26 after a 10-day trip to Norway.

Halfacre says there are lots of benefits for students who participated in the trip to Norway.

Sheridan students and faculty in Olso

Sheridan students and faculty in Olso, Norway.

“For some of them it [was] their first time travelling to Europe, so they [were] able to experience international travel, international airports, plus the culture,” said Halfacre. “For many of them it [was] their first cruise. In terms of value when they start to look for work, many agents have not been on this particular Norwegian coastal voyage so it’ll provide some good selling opportunities because it’s on the 1000 Things To See Before You Die and so a lot of the older people have it on their bucket list.”

Monica Wice, who started the program in January, agrees with Halfacre.

“It definitely [gives you] bragging rights: I’ve been to Norway, I’ve been on a Hurtigruten cruise,” Wice said. “It’s very rare and it’s something a lot of people would like to experience. And there’s a huge cost that comes with being in Norway, it’s very expensive and so to have had that opportunity, that’s something employers will look at and be like ‘Wow, you’ve been on that.’ It’s like going on an Africa Safari, that’s something rare. As far as selling it, if a client comes in and wants something a little bit out there [with] a lot of adventure, Hurtigruten does do those more Arctic expeditions.”
Hurtigruten offers exploration-oriented cruise experiences in destinations including Norway, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen.

Wice also said she feels like she would be able to better sell to clients seeking the adventurous travel after experiencing the end of a storm when their cruise reached North Cape, located at the Northern tip of Norway.

“It was like watching The World’s Deadliest Catch. The waves were rough, people were on their knees, because if you stood up, you fell over. That was part of the cruise. It made me feel like I was young again, you know, doing something really adventurous.”

Other students including Matt Passakas, Will Skoryk and Danielle Dauphinee were adventurous in other ways.

“We tried Reindeer soup,” said Skoryk. “It was really good. It tasted like beef.”

Mark McDonald, another student who participated in the Norway voyage, was exposed to new kinds of berries.

Students and faculty in Norway representing Sheridan College.

Students and faculty in Norway representing Sheridan College.

“There was a few berries on desserts that I tried on the cruise ship that I’d never even heard of,” he said. “The cloud berries were really good.”

While none of the students are currently working in the travel and tourism industry, having the opportunity to experience Norway will open a lot of doors when it comes time for these students to start looking for work or field placement positions.

“I believe the trip will help me with everything to do with my career because it gives you a new outlook on a country that you wouldn’t otherwise go to,” said McDonald. “It also gives you opportunity to see all these things that we actually participated in like the cruise and all the tourist boards.”

For Dauphinee, who wants to get into meetings and events, says the trip really showed her the work and effort that goes into planning a trip such as this.

“It definitely helped with organizing a tour, how to set things up and what happens when things go wrong, how to manage things like lost luggage,” Dauphinee said. “But it was a good experience, being with a group and dealing with the different personalities. We had a lot of different demographics on our trip.”

Passakas also agrees.

“Just to see how it was organized and all the effort that goes into planning it. It was a very good trip and I’m glad I went. Roger did a fantastic job in planning it.”

Dauphinee hopes other students at Sheridan have the opportunity to also experience things hands-on in their programs.

“I feel like travelling somewhere and actually immersing yourself in the culture and learning about it, really helps you,” said Dauphinee. “Travelling helps you became a well rounded person so I would hope that other programs get the opportunity to do hands on things like we do. You can tell me 10 times in a brochure what I’m going to experience but to actually be there and experience the same things is just completely different.”