He was 16 and it was time for Gergely Rung to choose one of the optional courses his high school offered. Friends told him that the Travel & Tourism course was not — in their words– the usual “chalk-and-talk” curriculum. Rung had traveled to different countries; he was interested in a career in the travel industry; the course sounded interesting, so he signed up.
“The GTTP was a positive confirmation for me about what I wanted to do,” said the 23-year old Rung.
The GTTP Hungary Program is designed for students aged 14 years to 18 years and includes both mandatory and optional subject matter modules that require 220 classroom hours spread over two years, including 60 hours of work place experience. The program emphasizes two important areas: exposing students to the workplace and individual development.
Teachers receive 30 hours obligatory training before they can teach the program, and also have access to annual two-day supplementary training courses. More than 40 schools in Hungary now offer the Travel & Tourism education program.
“During the two years I became interested in organizing travel and got many assignments from my teacher regarding travel agencies,” said Rung, whose first name, Gergely, is “Gregory” in English.
“I spent my 60 hours of work experience at the Tensi travel agency, and this was very pleasant because I had real tasks to do — not only typing participant lists all day long, ” said Rung.
Some 350 firms in Hungary now offer students in the Travel and Tourism program work experience opportunities.
“Following the compulsory 60 hours, the manager of the agency asked if I wanted to stay on. I gladly said ‘yes!’ By that time I was being given more and more complex tasks, ” said Rung. “I learnt a lot from my colleagues and also from clients.”
“By the end of the summer I was allowed to talk to potential clients and was selling tours,” said Rung.
Rung continued to broaden his experience: after Tensi he went to the Avanti Travel Agency, then the Quaestor Group.
While working Rung also pursued his studies, first at the Europe 2000 two-year Travel and Tourism Management School and also a ticketing course offered by IATA, the International Air Transport Association.
Rung combined full-time work with more studying. He enrolled in the College Kodolanyi Janos, which offers courses in travel and tourism, and he expects to graduate at the beginning of 2010.
Rung’s career had one detour: problems with his kidneys required a six-month detour after he received a new kidney from his devoted father. But even while recuperating at home Rung managed to keep working. He is now well.
Rung has been able to travel widely. He has been to Spain four times, as well as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, New York City, Britain, Greece, and Turkey. He plans to explore Northern Europe, especially Finland.
Rung will tell you that he has benefited from GTTP Hungary in preparing for his career.
“The Program gave me perspective,” said Rung.