Third year Tourism Management BA students at St Mary’s University, Twickenham are preparing for their field trip to Cuba next month by taking Spanish lessons.
Those taking the Fieldwork in Developing Countries module are heading to the Caribbean island for 10 days to work with local people on a number of research projects and examine a wide range of tourism issues in Cuba.
The trip is happening as a result of the programme’s relationship with the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Havana.
During the trip, students get to learn about different cultures while also developing personal skills such as teamwork, leadership and initiative, which are vital for a career in tourism.
Amy Celecia, third year Tourism Management student, said, “I am going to Cuba with an open mind, looking forward to experiencing the culture, working with Cuban students and putting my Spanish to use to understand the island from a local perspective.”
Director of Tourism at St Mary’s Peter Smith, said, “The overseas fieldwork modules on the Tourism Management programme are always popular with our students and give them a chance to test theory they have learned and practice it in real life situations. We go to Prague in the second year and Cuba in the third year and students always feedback that these fieldtrips are the highlight of their study with us.
“We are particularly pleased to be working with the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Havana to foster cross-cultural interactions between students and staff at the two institutions. Our students have opted to take additional Spanish lessons, which demonstrates a real commitment to getting the most out of this unique experience.”