Published: 23 May 2024

A week in the life of an International Event Management student

We asked International Event Management BSc student, Annika, to tell us what it's like to be a student at Surrey's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM).

Photo of Annika Victoria Kahn

Deciding which university to attend is a stressful and sometimes overwhelming task that I faced about four years ago. The University of Surrey has just the right balance of interesting modules including practical and theoretical elements, exciting field trips and assignment choices, and a lively social life including sport clubs, societies, and numerous opportunities in town. 

I have never looked back and hope this insight will help you in your decision to start your journey at the University of Surrey soon! 


Mondays is one of my busiest days, however, luckily, with a slower start at 10am on Stag Hill, the main campus. This is just a short 15-minute walk away from Manor Park, the secondary campus I live on just down the road. From 10am until 1pm I have a teaching block for the optional module ‘Carnivals, Festivals and the Creative Industry’ comprised of a one-hour lecture and a two-hour workshop. This split already shows the focus on the practical element of the course and gives a direct chance to get creative and apply the content in guided activities. As the name suggests, this is one of the event-specific modules I got to choose and includes a field trip across the semester to a local gallery, creative assignment tasks like an industry podcast recording and informative guest speakers from the sector, giving us the chance to build a professional network before leaving university. 

International Events Management student ambassador


This day looks different every week, as I have no lectures and like to change my plans depending on weekly happenings on campus, meetings, and academic work. I often spend a few hours on campus in the library or the nest for a more casual learning environment to stay up-to date on my module contents and assignments. 

Today, I had an interview to become a student ambassador. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to earn a little extra money with the chance of fitting it around your own flexible schedule. In this role you can deliver campus tours for future students, hold talks on open days or even go to bigger recruitment workshops at other schools organised by the University. 

International Events Management student at breakfast

In the evenings, I have volleyball practice at the Surrey Sports Park, which is just across the field from my accommodation. Being able to pursue my hobby gives me a balance in the academic life and an extra chance to meet likeminded people and form a community with other students outside of my subject but with the same interests. 

I then have a quick lunch break that I like to spend with my friends at Hillside, the campus cafeteria. I mostly bring my own lunch, however, on lazy days I like to make full use of the variety of food choices at low prices in the dining hall ranging from building your own salad, to indulging in a delicious pizza or enjoying the hot meal of the day such as curries, stews, or wraps. 

After lunch I have another two-hour lecture block for the 'Business Research Methods' module, which prepares us for the final year project – in my case: the dissertation.

I then like to end my evenings at one of the many workout classes offered at Surrey Sports Park, or with a relaxing night with my friends or flat mates. 

International Events Management student at breakfast


Wednesdays are BUCS (Sports) days! This means, all lectures should end by 12pm as the day is reserved for all sports clubs to attend weekly fixtures in their University league. I luckily have the morning off as well, to finish any outstanding work for the remainder of the week, catch up with friends or enjoy a lie-in once in a while 😉

At 12pm my volleyball team and I leave, either by an organised minibus provided by the union, or by train, to travel to our match (mostly in London). Games are scheduled at various times, but this week our game lasted from 3-5:30pm which got us back home at around 7pm. 

Depending on how the game went, I either have a relaxing evening at home, or we all go out to Rubix, the University club, to celebrate at the weekly Citrus night. Rubix offers great events throughout the semester, across various weekdays and weekends including themed nights, routine DJ sessions, and special events such as Oktoberfest or Hallowe'en celebrations. During the day, the venue is often used for different pop-up events and our own food market and vintage thrift store every Thursday! 

International Events Management student first day at Surrey


Now it is time for another busy day of lectures and seminars on campus. I start the day with a two-hour lecture in strategic management from 9am to 11am. This might sound early, however, 9am is the earliest any lectures start and with a short walk to campus and a coffee at the Lakeside Coffee Shop just outside my lecture hall, I am ready for the day! 

Straight after, I have a one-hour seminar for business research where we review the contents from Monday’s lecture and apply them to sample research questions. Then it is back to strategic management for our one-hour seminar, to pick up where we left this morning with group activities and practical tasks. These two modules are taught together with the hospitality and tourism courses, offering a broader perspective into the overall industry. The teaching team of the strategic management module includes an industry professional consultant, who shares valuable insights and knowledge about his firsthand experience, forming the bridge between academic and working life. 

International Events Management student at Winter Wonderland

Today, the lunch break is special, because the union has organised local farm animals to pay us a visit on campus. The Union organises numerous events across the semester to help with the stress of independent living and exams. 

After taking some cute pictures of donkeys and feeding baby goats, the day finishes with a three-hour teaching block of the 'Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions' module. This is the second optional module I chose specifically tailored to events students to gain insight into this industry sector. This week, we all took the train to the Olympia conference venue to visit The Spirit of Christmas exhibition. Spending an afternoon at the exhibition and seeing all professionals in action to get a feel for ‘how it’s done’ really helped us in our first assignment which was to design an exhibition stall a successfully sell our product or venue to the teaching team. This module and the Carnivals module described earlier give us events students an insight into two big industry sectors and allows us to creatively explore whether this path might be for us.

In the evening, the THE (Tourism, Hospitality and Events) society organised a careers evening, with many industry professionals on campus. This was an exciting opportunity to expand our professional network, gather placement, internship or even future job opportunities and set up first contacts with potential future employers once again. 

International Events Management student at night out


Friday is another day without any lectures, but that does not mean it gets boring! I like to use this day to start completing the work set for the next week so that I can have more leisure time during the weekend. Luckily, all lectures, presentations and tasks are uploaded mostly two weeks in advance which gives the opportunity to always stay ahead and prepare for what is to come. 

Additionally, I review this week’s content to make sure I am on track. In the afternoon, I had a casual chat with my personal tutor to inform her on my wellbeing and discuss my current ideas regarding my final project and future career. She was able to signpost me to the relevant professors who have industry contacts in the areas I am considering and altogether re-assured my current work. Personal tutors are always there to help in any regard and are the perfect person to write a recommendation when applying for placements or graduate jobs.

In the evening, I like to go out to one of the many bars in town or spend an evening at home with my friends.

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