Specialist patisserie and bakery students, Alicia Johnston (Newtownards) and Scott Hunter (Bangor), have just returned from Valencia, Spain where they had the opportunity to work in traditional Spanish bakeries as part of their Level 2 Diploma in Professional Bakery which they completed at South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Bangor Campus.

Thanks to Erasmus+, the students spent 3 months living and working in Valencia where they learned how make traditional Spanish breads and sweets using different ingredients and baking techniques. The students also learned more about Spanish culture and, whilst they found it challenging, they also managed to improve their Spanish both in the workplace and everyday life.

Paul Monaghan, Lecturer in Hospitality and Catering, said,

“I am extremely proud of what Alicia and Scott have achieved. They quickly learned how to adapt to living independently, away from family and friends and totally immersed themselves in the Spanish way of life. I believe that every student should consider this fully funded 3-month option and take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn and develop.”

Now that Scott and Alicia have returned home, they reflected that whilst their time in Spain was challenging both personally and professionally, they believe that it was well worth it in terms of their future careers and would highly recommend it to others.

Scott said, “This experience has had a major impact on me both personally and in my future career. In the future, I would like to own and manage my own business specialising in traditional Spanish breads and sweets.” Alicia added, “This experience will help me to realise my dream of owning my own business.”

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