A learning experience in a South African paradise

Two University College Isle of Man (UCM) students are currently on an unforgettable internship at Pine Lake Marina, situated in the heart of the Garden Route National Reserve,one of South Africa’s glittering gems.

For three months, Pine Lake Marina, a beautiful resort boasting breathtaking views of the Swartvlei Lake and the surrounding mountains, is also ‘home’ to UCM students Aaron Riding and Sophie Van Hooven.

Aaron is currently in his second year of BSC Hons Finance and Accounting, and Sophie is in her first year of BS Hons Event Management and Marketing. They were chosen for this programme via a selection process that required them to demonstrate their added value to the internship and what they hoped to gain from this life-changing learning experience.

Gail Corrin, Higher Education Manager, UCM said, “This internship demonstrates that students can have the opportunity to travel and live off Island, while studying their degree on the Isle of Man. We at UCM understand that international exposure forms an extremely valuable learning opportunity, as it helps students to develop critical employability skills. Congratulations to Aaron and Sophie on being selected for this internship, which I believe will be a wonderful personal and professional adventure.”

Gail went on to stress that practical work experience allows students to gain valuable industry knowledge, which enhances their career prospects. She extends her appreciation to the International Centre of Technology (ICT) who sponsored this internship programme, further commenting that working in partnership with employers such as ICT is key to UCM students’ outstanding results.

"The team at Pine Lake Marina is very excited to be able to play a privileged role in facilitating this first exciting internship programme with UCM,” says Franco Rossouw, General Manager, Pine Lake Marina Resort.
“What's important is that the students will return home after three months here, with solid workplace skillsets and a fondness for South Africa, the Garden Route and the people that they have met. In turn, we look forward to the students giving our valued staff exposure to the knowledge that they have gained at UCM and where possible, implement this knowledge into our programmes and systems," Franco continued.

Currently in their first few weeks at Pine Lake Marina, both Aaron and Sophie are already gaining valuable work experience in several departments such as administration, finance and registration. They have also taken this opportunity to experience the South African culture, explore the stunning outdoors and also learn the local language. To find out more about their South African adventure, view their vlog

UCM is committed to providing education that empowers its students to be who they want to be by offering a wide range of further and higher educational courses. Employability is at the heart of the academic offering at UCM with ninety percent of its students obtaining a relevant job upon graduation. UCM lecturers, who are academics with practical experience in their respective sectors, work closely with industry to ensure a ‘real world’ approach to learning for students, through programmes such as internships, work placements, field trips and research projects.

For more information about what UCM offers, please call 01624 648200 or visit www.ucm.im