Are you a tourism and hospitality major? Have you ever considered studying abroad? If you love traveling and are interested in gaining a wider worldview on the industry, studying abroad is a great way to enrich your studies.

Whether you're interested in hotel management, event planning, or you're not sure what you want to study yet, there are many study abroad programs available that can give you direction, insight, and opportunities for practical experience.

Here are some common areas of study in a tourism and hospitality major to think about as you find the right program for you:

Hotel Management

Are you business savvy, great at communication, and a master of organization? If you're able to think on your feet and want to be in charge of something large, try out a program that specializes in hotel management.

Tour Guide

Do you enjoy learning about an area, meeting new people, and exploring places? If you love activity, consider trying out a program that includes on tour guide training.

Travel Agent and Passenger Services

If you love travel and helping others reach their destination, finding a program linked to a travel agency or a transportation service may be worth considering. Travel agents work with pleasure and business travelers as well as cruise lines and other specialty travel groups, so you'll need to be comfortable doing business with many types of people.

Event Planner

Organization and creativity are the two most important traits for this area of expertise. An event planner must be able to multitask effectively and be flexible about the unexpected. If that seems like a good fit for you, event planning may be something to consider.

Many countries offer programs or courses that are applicable to your studies. Here are a few picks to help you along in your decision:


Several universities in Australia and New Zealand have strong tourism and hospitality programs that you, as an exchange student, will be able to participate in. Australia also has prestigious business programs if you're interested in the business aspects of tourism and hospitality as well. Further, it's a wonderful destination for students who want to have a bit more of an adventure on their study abroad trip -- bungee jumping on spring break, anyone?


Boasting some of the most acclaimed hospitality and tourism programs in the world, Europe is definitely a great option to consider. As a popular destination for all study abroad students, Europe offers programs in a city for every personality. City slickers especially will be happy to hear that London offers a few great hospitality programs. If you prefer the great outdoors, head over to Ireland or Madrid. Plus, hopping between countries is easy and affordable, so students with a bit of wanderlust will love studying here.


Asia is home to several countries with burgeoning economies that rely heavily on tourism. Students who want to dive straight into the tourism and hospitality industry will find Asia a great place to study, especially if they want to be trained with an Asian cultural focus. Students will be able to find business, tourism, and hospitality-focused courses offered in countries like Indonesia, India, and Thailand, among others.

When planning your trip, there are a few things you should stay aware of. Here are some tips to help you choose the right program for you:

Study in a Non-English Speaking Country

If you're interested in working in the travel industry, studying abroad in a country whose primary language isn't English is a good way to effectively boost your language skills. You'll impress your friends back home and prove that your skills surpass language barriers.

Consider an Internship Program

If you want to get some real-world experience overseas, try looking for a hospitality internship program to boost your resume during your travels.

Find a Scholarship

Financing a study abroad trip doesn't have to be stressful. There are plenty of scholarships available, either through the university you choose or through your program, whether you're need-based or merit-based. For example:

  • The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship is one opportunity for you to finance your education abroad.
  • Rotary is a large organization that finances students' studies in many different fields and locations.
Contributed by Jen Engelhart


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