Distance Learning Abroad: Tourism for the Chronically Ill
Anna wants to enable dialysis patients to travel around Israel. To reach this goal, the 52-year-old doctor is studying tourism management at IUBH Distance Learning.
Imagine that you have a chronic kidney disease and need dialysis three times a week. What would that mean for the quality of your life? Could you still travel? Actually, there are organisations that provide dialysis during vacations – nevertheless, patients on a normal sightseeing and study trip miss a large part of the programme because they have to spend four hours on dialysis almost every other day. What has been missing from the travel package so far is a study trip that integrates dialysis into the programme.
The dream: dialysis doctor and tour guide
I want to change that. My name is Anna, and I am 52 years old, a rather untypical age for a bachelor student of tourism management. Since 2001 I have been living in northern Israel, on the beautiful Sea of Galilee, with a view of the Golan Heights. It was love that brought me here and I work as a doctor at a dialysis ward.
Six years ago I started studying “Land of Israel Studies”, and for the last few years I have also been studying “Classical Studies”. It’s like an addiction: once you start, you can’t stop. I would now like to share my knowledge about the country and its culture with, for example, tourists. That’s why I’m currently in the process of getting a license to be a tour guide. In November of this year I will complete the two-year training programme.
However, giving up my job as a dialysis doctor is out of the question for me, because I care too much about my patients. In fact, to the contrary, I want to combine my two passions and make it possible for chronically ill people to travel through this country, despite their disability. From the outset, the itineraries should be tailored to their special needs. I would then like to accompany such a group myself, as a guide or as a doctor or both…
Work, studies and the flexibility of distance learning
My problem: when it comes to marketing and management, I unfortunately have absolutely no clue. I also am not familiar with specific German legal frameworks. That is why I decided to pursue an additional online learning degree at IUBH. What matters most to me is acquiring the necessary expertise, the “tools”, which I need to fulfil my dream.
The flexibility that distance learning at IUBH offers is optimal for me because apart from my full-time job and my training as a guide, there is often little time left over. During late shifts, when everything is quiet on the ward, I can often easily study on the side. And the option of taking exams online is absolutely fantastic. That saves a lot of travel expenses and valuable time.
During the first semester however, I did complete a block exam in Bad Reichenhall and spent a few days on holiday there with my 80-year-old mother. In all honesty, I have to admit that we don’t have such beautiful snow-capped mountains and green meadows here in Israel.