After three seasons working abroad, it's becoming an actual addiction...
Jenci tells about his experiences. What does it mean to be a receptionist at a campsite?
It all started when I did my first internship at a hotel in Calpe, Spain, 3 summers ago. I've had an amazing experience there, and when I came home my decision was already made, I definately wanted to work abroad the next summer. No sooner said than done: I started searching on the internet for companies that offered this opportunity and I ended up with Vacansoleil Camping Jobs. After the application procedure I was accepted to work at campsite La Bolée d'Air at the French west coast (yeah!). A small and cosy 4 stars campsite with a great work atmosphere.
It gave me satisfaction
That year I was, as a receptionist, the point of contact of all the Vacansoleil guests. I was working full time at the campsite of course, so I was also responsible for the check in and check out of the French guests. In this way I could improve my French language and very soon my French was fluent! The fact that it was a fairly small campsite and that I stayed on sight, made that I recognized all the guests that were staying on the campsite, and vice-versa. As hospitality is something I value a lot, I liked it therefore very much if I could help guests after my working hours with all sorts of things, such as giving touristical- and practical information, showing guests around at the campsite... It gave me a lot of satisfaction to see that the guests returned home pleased after their vacation.
A large campsite this year, something totally different!
After this great experience I choose to work for Vacansoleil again last summer, this time I was offered a beautiful campsite in the sunny and world famous Saint-Tropez. At this campsite, called 'Les Tournels', I worked as front-desk receptionist, just like the summer before. What was a small reception, with almost no management structure and barely two colleagues last year, was this year the complete opposite. A huge campsite, and therefore a large welcoming space with different desks, about 10 colleagues and 2 managers.
Colleagues became real friends
Everybody got their own desk and was responsible for their own cash desk. I worked 35 hours a week spread over 6 days. I worked in the morning, or in the afternoon till the evening. Every day looked about the same in terms of tasks, but because I met so many different people, every day was as fascinating and instructive. Also this year I stayed on the campsite itself, there was a seperate part of the campsite equipped with chalets for student jobbers. Because it was such a large campsite, we formed one big crew and there was always something going on. By living together day and night, colleagues became real friends with who I could make some fun, but could also have good conversations with. We went to the beach together, went shopping, made trips or went to parties in the decadent Saint-Tropez.
There are actually so many reasons...
Working abroad is something I would recommend to anyone, and there are so many reasons for that. It doens't only offer you the chance to improve/learn a new language, it also makes that you learn to function outside your comfort zone, you get the chance to meet new people and cultures ánd it looks good on your CV!
Jenci Declerck, student International Business & Marketing Management for Tourism.