SARASOTA, Fla. (February 4, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 11 student cohort from Taiwan, who arrived last fall to complete a 10-month Hospitality Management International Certificate program, are now completing internships as part of the second and final phase of their education program. In addition to being enrolled in a Hospitality Management Internship class, these students are required to rotate between at least two different hospitality management position areas such as front desk, housekeeping, food service and culinary operations. When the students return to Taiwan in May 2015, they will receive credit for their tenure from the Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism.
“USFSM is located in one of the biggest hospitality labs in the world: Florida,” said Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, dean of the College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership. “Since the Tampa Bay area houses some of the best hotels, resorts, restaurants and theme parks in the country, our International Certificate Program is very unique in that it incorporates a five-month internship in one of the partner hospitality organizations. This allows our certificate students to apply what they learn at USFSM into practice and gives them valuable hands-on experience.”
During the fall 2014 semester, the Taiwanese students took four courses including a hospitality introductory class, event management, restaurant management and finance and accounting management for the hospitality industry. Now these students are interning at Busch Gardens, Loews Don CeSar Hotel, Epicurean Hotel, Courtyard by Marriot and the Department of Bradenton Area Convention Center to apply their classroom lessons to a real-world setting.
“This experience has broadened my horizons. Every day at work I learn so much – not only about the hotel operation and service technique from the interaction with colleagues, but also about the culture: the festivals, football, the food, people from different countries,” said Joyce HSU, one Taiwanese student interning at Epicurean Hotel in Tampa. “I’m excited and look forward to the experiences and challenges that I will have for the rest of my internship because it will continue to help me grow in both knowledge and self.”
Another Hospitality Management International Certificate student from Taiwan adds, “This is my first job and it has truly helped improved my English speaking skills,” said Susan LAI, intern at Loews Don CeSar Hotel. “I’ve really learned a lot about developing relationships in the workplace and how to extend professional conversations with guests. I feel so lucky to have chosen this program.”
USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Global Engagement Office continues to follow up with these students during the semester and will organize a “fare-well” event before their departure from the U.S. in May 2015.