Latvian student overcomes homesickness to spread her wings
The combination of determination and a love for the travel and tourism industry has led to a world of opportunities for a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate.
Alina Lahanina, 23, from Latvia, has graduated with a first-class degree from UCLan’s BA (Hons) International Tourism Management programme and has now secured a graduate position in human resources at a leading hotel in Mauritius.
The high-flying student, who attended the Riga Technical School of Tourism and Creative Industries before arriving at UCLan, initially suffered from homesickness.
“When I first came to the UK, all I wanted to do was to go back home,” Alina explained. “The distance between me and my family seemed to be unbearable but once I started to attend lectures, make friends with course mates and meet my tutors, those feelings started to subside.”
"I’ve benefitted hugely in terms of my increase in knowledge, experience and confidence during these last three years and I can’t thank the University and my tutors enough"— Alina Lahanina, BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate
As Alina’s confidence began to build so did her desire to see more of the world. In her second year she studied at UCLan’s Cyprus Campus while in year three Alina travelled to Mauritius for a week’s study visit.
“The University has such a wide range of international contacts which of course is really valuable and vital to anyone studying travel and tourism,” continued Alina. “I’ve benefitted hugely in terms of my increase in knowledge, experience and confidence during these last three years and I can’t thank the University and my tutors enough. I’ve also made friends with some of my course mates which I know will last a lifetime.”
Alina completed an outstanding project in her final year on the tourism development of Latvia and also won the UCLan travel and tourism award for academic excellence.
“My university journey has been a long one,” said Alina looking back. “When times were hard, I didn’t quit, I trusted the process and as a result I’ve grown personally and professionally. Now I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my career and I can’t wait to start working in Mauritius.”