An interview with a boutique hotel owner


sonia Maria Boutique Hotel

Kristin Hansen, from Norway, is the owner of a boutique hotel in Cambodia, which incorporates her commitment to social development and sustainable tourism

Why did you choose to study in Australia and why did you choose your particular courses?"I visited Australia on an around-the-world tour after I had completed high school and a two-year trainee programme as a receptionist in my hometown. When I was in Manly, Australia and learned about the International College of Management Sydney (then called International College of Tourism and Hotel Management) I decided that that was where I wanted to continue to study. I chose my course because that’s the course they offered at that time, and that’s what I 
wanted to study (now they offer many different courses).

"When I went back to complete my master’s degree, after some years in Cambodia, it felt natural to do it through Macquarie University as they have a partnering with ICMS, and I knew I would be able to do some of my courses at the Manly campus. I chose the master’s in International Business because it was a logical way to build on my degree."

Has what you learnt during your study helped you in your career?"Yes, it has, very much. My undergraduate study was very practical, which is important for tourism and hotel management. We took part in planning and preparing functions and events, we had duties at the college, and 
we also had to conduct a nine-month industry placement."

What were the benefits of studying in Australia and how have these helped in your career?"I have benefited a lot from the international experience, in ways that have made me much more confident. I guess studying in a different language is an advantage, and I learnt a lot about cultural differences from living, studying and working closely with people from different cultures, which makes it easier to work in international business."

What did you enjoy most, and least, about studying abroad?"I loved studying at the ICMS in Manly/Sydney/Australia. The climate, the people, the network of international students from all over the world, many of which I still keep in touch with.

"While I was an undergraduate student I disliked the strict PC-point system (personal conduct), uniform and business attire and strong focus on professionalism. However, after I got used to it was easier, and towards the end I started to appreciate it. Now that I employ staff myself, I know that graduates who had similar systems have a very high level of professionalism.