To introduce myself, I am a student at Breda University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands (International Tourism Management). I was offered the opportunity to complete an internship abroad as part of my study. I have chosen to do a 5-month internship with Travel Exclusive Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, beginning September 5, 2022. The reason I chose for Travel Exclusive Asia to do my internship is because it is a small, well-structured company. I appreciate that it is a small company because it allows me to readily learn about all aspects of a DMC and because it makes it much more personal. I arrived in Bangkok 1,5 weeks before my internship started, on 24 August 2022. I arrived together with another student who is also doing her internship in Bangkok, Thailand, but at another company. When we arrived in Bangkok, before we made our trip to the south of Thailand, we already stopped by the office to get acquainted with André & the team and to see where I will be working for the next few months. It was a pleasure to meet them, and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation over a delicious cup of coffee. It was great to stop by before we started our journey to the south of Thailand since I knew I would be in good hands and could go on vacation with peace of mind.

The next day we flew to Surat Thani and then took a van taxi to the pier, where we boarded the ferry to Koh Tao.
We wanted a relaxed vacation before starting our internship, so we didn’t take many excursions and spent a lot of time relaxing and exploring the islands. We went on a snorkelling tour on Koh Tao, which is highly recommended! The underwater world of Koh Tao is stunning, and you should absolutely explore it while there. We also went to a ladyboy show, this was definitely worth seeing once. We also got a lovely Thai massage here, and we simply enjoyed the island’s magnificent beaches. We remained here for three nights before taking the ferry back to Koh Phangan, where we stayed for four more nights before taking the boat, van, and night train back to Bangkok.
On Koh Phangan, we decided to hire a scooter. With the scooter we could easily drive around the island and visit various gorgeous beaches and lookout points. Furthermore, the half-moon party was there, and we definitely went there, it was a really great and well-organized festival.
It was a long journey, but it was well worth it!

Start of internship
When I returned from our holiday and began working at Travel Exclusive Asia, it took some getting used to because I had never worked in an office before. But the team and André welcomed me pleasantly and helped me adjust. The team and André are really kind & helpful, which helped me feel at ease. I can always go to them with any questions I have since they are always willing to help me and I don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes. Also if I want some recommendations on what to do or where to go in my free time, I can always ask them, and they will offer suggestions on where I should go and sometimes some colleagues come with me to show me around the city. The work environment is very pleasant, and everyone is always very helpful and friendly to one another.
I worked on the product team for the first few months, aiding the team in preparing for the following season. After completing my product team obligations, I began working full-time on a social media manual and updating the social media channels.

Working day
The working hours at Travel Exclusive Asia are from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m., however you may also work from 8:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. The first month, I worked from 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m., as do practically other employees except André, who starts every day at 7.30 a.m. Because I had a visit from my parents in October and a visit from my boyfriend in November, I decided to adjust my working hours from 08:00 – 17:00 starting in October so that I could be ready for my visit sooner. For the lunch, I frequently go to a local market within walking distance of the office with other colleagues. This is a large covered market with dozens of street food stalls and long tables for everyone to eat at. The food is really delicious because it is all freshly prepared for you, and it is also a great experience because you lunch with all the locals and rarely see a tourist here.

I am really enjoying my time here so far and I feel really use- and helpful. André is a very knowledgeable and disciplined man, and I can learn a lot from him as well as from the experienced team I am working with. It is a very great team to work with, and I feel very comfortable. It is also wonderful that we occasionally do some fun things with the team to do outside work. Besides the working days I have time in the weekends to do something fun and to explore Bangkok and other places close by. I am looking forward to the next phase of my internship with Travel Exclusive Asia.

Lisa Oude Maatman