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Hi everyone! I'm Neringa Rackauskaite, a Tour Guide from Vilnius (Lithuania). I've already finished BA studies of International Business of Tourism in my country and I have a dream to continue studying in UK. I have an offer from University of Surrey, course Tourism Development and feel super excited about that! You probably realize that studies in the UK is quite a challenge for an Eastern European, because it's so expensive! So guys, I really need your help!
I work as a tour guide in my hometown Vilnius. Have you ever heard of it? It's a small town in Eastern Europe, capital of Lithuania. Some people call it "Prague before mass tourism", others expect this to be one of the most 'exotic' Europe destinations (usually due to the fact that it's 'post-soviet' country). Since I interact with travellers a lot, I noticed that people are mostly motivated to visit because 'none of my friends have been there' or 'I've never heard about it before'. Do you still wonder why we need qualified tourism development (and marketing) specialists? :)
So now, a little bit of what I've
done already. I finished my studies of International Business of Tourism in
Vilnius University International Business School. During my undergraduate studies I got basic knowledge about the tourism business, so I am ready for advanced learning in
postgraduate studies. I found the biggest interest during my last year when I was
writing Bachelor Degree Thesis “Evaluation of supply of tourism services for an exclusive segment –
backpackers – in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn”. It was definitely the most
interesting module for me and I realized that this is a field which I would like
to research more. Furthermore, I submitted my research paper based on my Thesis to
Students’ conference "Social Sciences and Humanities - 2014: Challenges in
the Context of Globalization”. My presentation was elected as the best one in
Business Management Problems and Solutions section which confirmed that I am
on the right track. This paper was published in academic journal “The Bridge to
the Future” as well. After my studies I started
thinking about MSc in other countries: to broaden my horizons, to get good
experience, to meet new people. I find the University of Surrey absolutely
perfect to me, it's #2 university in UK for tourism. The program Tourism
Development has modules of research, strategies, management, development, etc.
Moreover, it includes fieldtrips to Brighton and Cambridge. Sounds like a dream
studies, doesnt it?
On my last year of studies I joined the organization of tours to meet Vilnius travellers in person. After the first few months I realized how different tourists are visiting Lithuania and how it breaks all the stereotypes that our country attracts only tourists from neighbouring countries and the countries which have historical connections. On walking tours I show people hidden gems of the town and tell them stories about local life. For me it is a priceless experience and one of the best things that have happened in my life. I get inspired by travellers I meet, I always develop my public speaking and communication skills, I get motivation to learn history and I realize how much I enjoy working in tourism.
A break-down of costs:
- Tuition fees - £10,600
- PayPal fees (3.5%, applied to successful projects) - £371
I know that facing living expenses will also be challenging, but I hope to get some support from my family or get a part-time job. I believe that everything is possible and with your kind help I could make my dream come true on September. I would appreciate any help (funding, sharing or just sending positive vibes). Thanks in advance!
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