Island internships immerse students in eco-tourism - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Island internships immerse students in eco-tourism

USC tourism students are expanding their learning and discovering new career opportunities though internships on K’gari-Fraser Island, thanks to a partnership between USC and eco-tourism provider Kingfisher Bay Resort.

Students have the chance to complete work experience on the World Heritage-listed island in a range of areas, from resort management and visitor experience to working as eco-rangers.

For Jamen Gallagher, who completed an internship in early 2018, the placement has evolved into a full-time job as resort eco-ranger.

“The internship gave me the opportunity to learn my trade through the language that I understand best – experience,” said Jamen, who moved to the Sunshine Coast from Malang Indonesia to study at USC.

Environmental and sustainability enthusiast Kate Whitaker also seized the opportunity to work as a resort ranger on the island. Kate, who graduated from USC recently with a Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) and is now working in biological and sustainable agriculture on the Sunshine Coast, said she gained considerable insights into eco-tourism in a World Heritage Site.

“I learnt a great deal and the experience allowed me to clarify the type of career in tourism and sustainability that I plan to pursue,” she said.

The internship added to an impressive list of experiences Kate gained during her degree, including field research into sustainable tourism practices and policies on Fraser Island and a study of community and tourist beliefs and behaviours in the Kingdom of Tonga.

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