PART 1：Study Experience in International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taiwan（English）
You never know until you try!
Shannon Heng has Cantonese and Cambodian origin, but is born and raised in California. At an education fair in high school, Shannon is introduced to National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, which sparked her curiosity, and eventually led her to Taiwan to study Tourism Management at NKUHT. Shannon’s goal is to become “Miss Independent” and to be able to chase after her dream and let no obstacle stand in the way. “Don’t be afraid to try” is the message she wants to send out, hoping that those who are watching can take courage from this video.
National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism
Shannon says “Traditional” is the word that best describes NKUHT. There are several campus rules to follow, including the ban to step on the grass, obligation to wear uniform, mandatory dorm enrollment for freshmen and morning campus cleanings. All these rules are to train students’ organizing skills, and to prepare them for employment in the future.
NKUHT’s campus is located away from the city center, but there are buses, MRT , and public bikes as transportation means. In her free time, Shannon often goes to a shopping mall named Taroko park to enjoy food and movies with friends. “萬里香” is Shannon’s favorite street food stand in Taiwan. It offers a wide selection of deep-fried food, including chicken, octopus, mozzarella sticks, and tofu.
Dorm at NKUHT
One perk of living in NKUHT’s dorm is that much of the equipment is free of charge, except for laundry and internet. Depending on the budget, students can choose two-person or four-person room. At each dorm there is a bathroom, and each person would have their own space where the bed is on top, and desk at the bottom. There are room checks twice a week, reminding students to keep their space clean, as well as curfews, obliging students to be disciplined. Since roommates are randomly assigned, students can learn team-building skills through working with different types of people.
Activities at NKUHT
School Song Competition is a freshmen event, held about one month after the school year starts. Students practice everyday, learning to sing school anthem and organizing dances to build a performance. It is a fun bonding experience.
International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management
International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management in NKUHT covers all subjects regarding hospitality and tourism in English. This department is invariably associated with “tour guide,” but student’s career options are actually quite broad due to the all-rounded nature of this department’s courses. Another characteristic of this department is its focus on hands-on skills over theory, quite different from the type of classes that students were used to.
Courses in International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management
Freshmen courses include Food and Beverage Management, Introduction to Hospitality, Professional English in Tourism and Chinese, which covers basic language skills as well as advanced topics such as Taiwanese geography and traditional Taiwanese puppet show.
Sophomore courses include Food and Beverage Service, Accounting, Seminars, On-Campus Internship in Eslite Hotel, E-Business and Events Planning. E-Business teaches students how to set up their own online business. Shannon’s group chose to sell glue. They created their own ads and logo, which turned out to be a fun experience.
A full year’s internship is mandatory for every junior student in NKUHT. The school has connections with companies all over the world, and students can choose which they want to apply. Shannon chose a five-star resort in United Arab Emirates to spend her junior year. Application process is straightforward. Students who are interested need only to bring their documents and resume to the interview, the date of which will be announced on the website.
The focus in the senior year is final thesis. In a course named Research Methods students will pick up a thesis and there will be an adviser helping the student throughout the year. In the end, students will have an opportunity to present their work to CEOs of hotels and travel agencies.
Graduate Qualification of International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management
To graduate, every student in the department needs to pass an English exam and acquire two certificates. For English exam, you can choose to take TOEIC, IELTS or other exams approved by the department. For certificates, you need at least two, one in C-level and the other one C-level or B-level. To see which certificate belongs to which level, you can check with the department’s website.
Resources of International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management
The department has indoor planes, simulating the scene to work on an airplane. There are also restaurants for students in the culinary department, who can practice how to put on different types of dishes, devising menus and being a server. Also, students can apply for scholarship if they end up top three in class at the end of the semester.
The department provides many opportunities for students to meet different cultures. Apart from the visiting exchange students, there are trips that take students abroad to different universities to interact with students from another country.
Experience Sharing is an important occasion when senior students share their internship experiences with freshmen and sophomore students. Besides, there are field trips that take students to hotels and restaurants, to hear CEOs sharing their experiences.
Introduction to Wines and Beverages is a class that Shannon took in her freshman year. Each week they try at least eight different types of wines. World Travel and Food Culture introduces cuisines from different parts of the world. Tea Culture teaches students different types and effects of tea, as well as ways to differentiate them by the leaf. Casino Management uses a simulation classroom, letting students try different roles in a casino, including how to be a dealer. Airline Ticketing is a course from another department. In the class she learns how to use Global Distribution Systems, a tool important for the industry.
Clubs, Clubs, Clubs!
During her years in NKUHT, Shannon joined Taiwanese Cooking Club, Ukulele club, International Student Association and Student Association. She highly recommends International Student Association, because they take students to different parts of Taiwan, and hold fun events, like Christmas party, where international students get to interact with each other. Shannon also joined the publicity department in Student Association, in charge of designing posters and logos. With SA she has gone to Pintung to teach English to elementary school students, and stayed overnight in the school for the first time.
On Studying Abroad, Internship and Independence
An important lesson for international students is how to become independent, because family members are not always around anymore, which obliges you to take care of yourself. Knowing how to prioritize is another lesson to be learned. During school year, you are going to be besieged with school activities and projects, which are exciting at first, but will overwhelm you eventually if you do not learn to prioritize.
The biggest lesson Shannon learned from her internship is “save your ass.” Internship not only gives you a sense of reality before graduation, but also teaches you the importance of responsibility, which is to hold accountable for your own action.
Taiwan vs USA
Culture is the main reason Shannon wanted to come to Taiwan in the first place. She finds people in Taiwan generous and kind, although shy in their own ways. For example, Taiwanese people are not used to hugging, and will feel uncomfortable if you are physically too close to them. Shannon is also surprised to see Taiwanese people’s habit of respecting elders. When you see a professor, for example, you need to address her properly. Night markets are a unique culture scene in Taiwan. It is an area where venders gather and sell food, clothes and games.
Be Grateful for the Simple Things in Life
To study abroad, you need to bring an open mind and an open heart, and be willing to adapt to changes. There are going to be obstacles, like culture barriers and language barriers, but they are all part of the experiences. As family members are not around anymore, Shannon starts to appreciate the little kindness in everyday life. She does not take everything for granted, and she is grateful for the help she receives throughout her stay in Taiwan.
高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程畢業門檻是英文檢定與證照考試。恩惠當初選擇使用 TOEIC 成績，但系上也接受考 IELTS 等等方式來達到門檻。至於證照，系上要求學生須通過一個 C 級證照加上一個 C 級或是 B 級證照，系上網站上可以查到各個證照屬於哪個層級。
大四時，「研究方法」與「畢業論文」是學生最要花時間心力投注的課程，當學生選好了主題，會有指導教授協助學生完成研究，學生還會有機會將成果報告給旅館執行長與旅行社。同時，這一年學生會有一趟海外畢業旅行，旅行的基金來自於學生每學期存入的 4,000 元，除了在國外實習的同學之外，若是不參加，必須要寫申請書。
「酒飲概論」是恩惠大一所修的課程，學生每週在課堂中都會接觸至少八種不同的酒；「世界旅遊與飲食文化」是帶領學生認識世界不同地區的佳餚，「茶藝文化」則是一一介紹茶的各式種類、作用與分辨方式；「博奕管理」會讓學生模擬擔任賭場中的各種角色；由於對航空業有興趣，恩惠也修了航空及運輸管理系開設的「航空票務」，學習如何操作航空業使用的全球分銷系統（Global Distribution System）。
台灣 vs 美國