My Iceland internship experience

My Iceland internship experience



SchoolSwiss Hotel Management School

ProgramBachelor of Arts



internship experience, Iceland internship, hospitality student

Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS), renowned for exceptional hospitality education and ranked second-best globally, is proud to feature Synne Gjermundsen Mørk, a student in the Bachelor of Arts program in International Hospitality Management. Synne, a Norwegian student with a passion for travel and service, offers a compelling perspective on her experiences at SHMS, highlighting the school's focus on practical training, its global network within leading hospitality and tourism destinations like Iceland's famed Blue Lagoon resort, and the multicultural environment that fosters valuable connections. As Synne reflects on her internship at a luxurious 5-star spa hotel and prepares for her next adventure, her story sheds light on the unique blend of academic rigor and real-world experience that SHMS provides for aspiring leaders in hospitality, tourism, and the spa industry.


My Internship experience

Hello, my name is Synne Gjermundsen Mørk, a Norwegian girl studying International Hospitality Management at Swiss Hotel Management School. I am currently doing my second year of university, preparing to go on my next internship.


Why did you choose to study at Swiss Hotel Management School?

Being the second-best hotel management school in the world, Swiss Hotel Management School is widely recognized for its exceptional hospitality education, which is why I chose to study there. The school offers a thorough learning style that is recognized throughout the world because of its emphasis on practical training in addition to a theoretical program.  

Situated in Switzerland, a country renowned for its hospitality and tourism, SHMS offers unrivaled access to some of the top hotels and resorts globally, enabling practical experiences and internship opportunities.  

Furthermore, SHMS's multicultural setting is perfect for networking and learning from colleagues worldwide, which is essential in a field that is so interconnected.

internship experience, Iceland internship, hospitality student
Synne (second from left) at a school event with her friends and classmates.

Where did you go for your recent internship?

I did my first internship at "The Retreat," a luxurious 5-star hotel located at the famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland. At the hotel, the approach to guest service goes beyond the conventional 5-Star property. Each receptionist, including myself, handles only a few check-ins daily, allowing us to offer a uniquely personalized experience. This model enables us to act almost like personal butlers, attentively following our guests throughout their stay, anticipating their needs, and ensuring that every aspect of their visit is nothing but perfect. The tailored approach not only enhanced guest satisfaction but also provided me with invaluable insights into the highest level of service in the luxury hotel industry.

internship experience, Iceland internship, hospitality student
The Blue Lagoon spa is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Iceland, featuring natural geothermal hot springs surrounded by volcanic rock.

What were your expectations before the internship?

Before starting my internship, I was filled with excitement about living in Iceland, renowned for its beautiful landscapes, from volcanoes to the northern lights. I looked forward to learning about luxury hospitality in an environment that prides itself on offering personalized guest experiences.

Additionally, I was curious about Icelandic culture and eager to explore the amazing nature Iceland is famous for. This unique blend of natural wonders and high-end hospitality filled me with anticipation for the 6 months ahead. 

internship experience, Iceland internship, hospitality student
Synne watches the aurora borealis, a renowned natural wonder also known as the northern lights.

What was the most unexpected experience during the internship?

During my internship at "The Retreat" by the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, I faced an unexpected challenge as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes struck the region. The situation escalated quickly, resulting in an evacuation of the city “Grindavik” that I lived in! The company assisted me in finding alternative accommodation and ensured I was safe.

I was also involved in the evacuation procedures at the hotel, which served as a real-time, high-pressure lesson in crisis management. This experience was invaluable, teaching me how to maintain composure, communicate effectively, and manage logistics under stress. The Blue Lagoon handled the situation remarkably, prioritizing the safety and well-being of both guests and staff.

How the company treated their employees is the biggest outtake from my internship experience, ensuring everyone was treated with kindness and offering support in difficult situations. They are truly an example of excellent hospitality.


What are you looking forward to next?

I look forward to the next chapter of my SHMS journey and I am excited about completing my studies and starting my second internship! I am planning on returning to Iceland, if possible. The upcoming internship will allow me to delve deeper into the hospitality industry, building on the foundations laid during my first experience. After that, I will come back to SHMS for my last year of study. I am excited to choose my specialization in Leysin during my third year and all the great people I will meet there. 

internship experience, Iceland internship, hospitality student
Synne (second from right) with her colleagues during her internship in Iceland.

Looking Forward with SHMS

Here at SHMS, we are so proud of Synne and her accomplishments as a student. She embodies the spirit of an SHMS education. Her experiences at "The Retreat" by Blue Lagoon in Iceland showcase just one of many learning opportunities available to our students, from personalized service in luxury settings to crisis management under pressure. As Synne looks forward to her next internship and prepares to finish her hospitality studies in Leysin, we at SHMS are confident that she is well-equipped to excel in the dynamic world of hospitality, tourism, and spa management.

We thank Synne for sharing her inspiring journey and look forward to hearing more about her success in the years to come. The SHMS community is proud to support students like Synne who are dedicated to shaping the future of hospitality with excellence and passion.


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