Shannon Heng 王恩惠

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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.

Interesting Courses

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.


保持開放的心胸,勇敢接受不同!

從小在美國加州長大的王恩惠有一半廣東、一半柬埔寨的血統。在高中的教育展上,恩惠認識了高雄餐旅大學,因此決定申請到高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學系就讀。在有許多有趣規定、紀律嚴明的高餐,她學習如何成為一名旅遊業人才,也在異鄉求學的生活中學會珍惜、感謝身邊的人。恩惠對自己的期許是成為一名獨立的女強人,「說話、走路都要像一個 boss!」而她也希望以自己的例子鼓勵大家勇敢嘗試,畢竟不試試看,你怎麼會知道?

高雄餐旅大學簡介

高雄餐旅大學的一大特色是傳統,像是規定校園草皮不得踐踏、上課需要穿制服、大一學生必須住校、大一有每天早晨打掃校園的義務等等,這些規定都是為了訓練學生成為有紀律的人,為之後出社會做準備。學校位置離高雄市中心有段距離,因此校園附近不算熱鬧,不過仍然有公車、捷運、公共腳踏車等大眾交通工具供學生通勤。

在高雄餐旅大學的食衣住行

恩惠空閒的時候常常與朋友去大魯閣草衙道購物廣場,裡面除了一個小型遊樂園,美食廣場、電影院、購物中心都一應俱全。學校附近的宵夜小販「萬里香」是恩惠最喜歡的台灣小吃,在攤位上夾取想要的食物之後,老闆會將他們油炸,有雞肉、章魚、起司條、豆腐等等,選擇很多。

雖然高雄餐旅大學學生第一年需要住在宿舍,但其優點是大多數設施是免費的,並且每間房間都是有獨立浴室的套房,學生也可以依照自己的預算選擇兩人房或是四人房。在每週兩次的巡房中,舍監會檢查學生物品是否有擺放整齊、被子是否有折好,同時宿舍也有門禁,不過習慣了就不難遵守。在宿舍生活可以好好鍛鍊團隊合作的能力,因為室友是隨機配對的,如何與不同性格的人相處實在是一個很重要的課題。

高雄餐旅大學的活動與資源

高雄餐旅大學有特別的校歌比賽,主要是大一學生參加,通常舉辦在開學一個月之後,學生每天會撥出兩個小時練習時間,練習唱校歌、編舞等等,是與同儕建立感情的好機會。高雄餐旅大學圖書館內有好比電影院規格的電影欣賞室,讓學生可以與三五好友一同借影片在此觀看,同時圖書館也提供討論室,是很值得利用的資源。

高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程

高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程主要聚焦於飯店管理與觀光兩大領域,涵蓋範圍多元,其使用英文授課是當初恩惠會選擇此科系的原因。大眾對高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程的常見迷思是學生畢業之後都會當導遊,但因為系上涵蓋範圍很廣,當導遊並不是唯一的出路,若是想往旅行社、導遊方面發展,旅運管理系會是更好的選擇。

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。

高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程課程內容

大一課程包含餐飲管理、餐旅概論、觀光專業英文、中文課,其中「觀光專業英文」讓學生為自己的家鄉設計一套觀光行程,「中文課」則是讓學生從大一的聽說讀寫課程開始,逐漸進階成台灣地理、布袋戲等文化相關課程。

大二課程包含餐飲服務、會計學、研討會、在校實習、電子商務、活動規劃等課程,「在校實習」讓學生在誠品行旅模擬旅館各種角色;「電子商務」這門課讓學生體驗如何建立自己的網路商店,當時恩惠與組員決定賣膠水,從建立商標、做廣告都由自己一手包辦。

大三是所有高餐學生的實習年,學校跟國內外公司、飯店都有合作,學生可以自行選擇,也能選擇是要一邊進修一邊實習,還是將全部時間投入實習。恩惠選擇到阿拉伯聯合大公國的五星級渡假別墅實習。想要申請的同學,學校會在網站上公布面試日期,因此只需要準備好自己的履歷與資料,並在當天到達面試地點就好了。

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。

高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程的資源

高雄餐旅大學國際觀光管理學士學位學程有室內模擬飛機場地,讓學生實際練習,而學校也有餐廳讓學生練習擺設盤子、設計菜單、當服務生等等。另外,學生只要每學期成績是班上前三名,便能申請獎學金。學校也有導師制度,學生能趁每學期聚餐中跟導師詢問課業或是生活上的問題。

系上也有很多國際交流機會,除了來訪的交換學生,學校也會利用寒假帶學生到國外做文化交流旅行。除此之外,「經驗分享」是每年大四學長姐回來分享實習經驗,讓大一大二的學生參考。再來,系上有許多校外教學機會,例如到餐廳還是旅館聆聽創業者或是執行長的故事,從他們的經驗中學習。

印象深刻的課程

「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)。

多采多姿的社團生活

在高雄餐旅大學求學期間,恩惠參加過台灣烹飪社、烏克麗麗社,同時也加入了國際學生會,跟著組織一起去台灣許多地方,也參加了國際學生會舉辦的各式活動,認識了許多國際學生。不僅如此,恩惠也進入學生會的公關部門,並在一次服務出隊時到屏東小學教學生英文,是一次很特別的體驗。

為自己負責

大學生活總是會有各式各樣的活動讓學生忙不過來,一開始可能會覺得新鮮有趣,但是如果不學習排出做事的優先順序,很容易被事情淹沒。這同時也是獨立的展現,因為上了大學之後,就不會有人在旁邊時時叮嚀,需要開始為自己的行為負責。在正式就業前,實習是讓學生先與現實接軌的好機會,也更能體會「為自己的行為負責」這一句話。

台灣 vs 美國

台灣人的熱情與善良是當初恩惠選擇來台灣的原因,不過恩惠後來才發現台灣人其實也有害羞的一面,像是不習慣擁抱。在日常相處方面,尊師重道的觀念讓恩惠覺得很特別。台灣的另一大特色是夜市,除了有各式各樣的食物,也有衣服與遊戲。而台灣的便利商店除了隨時可以買到食物,還可以買火車票、演唱會門票等等各式各樣的事情,其方便程度讓恩惠大開眼界。

沒有挫折,怎麼會有成長

恩惠認為到異地求學最重要的是保持開放的心胸,畢竟,你想到國外求學,不就是想要體會不同的文化嗎?而遇到挫折是難免的,像是文化衝擊與語言問題,但這些都會成為經驗的一部份。「珍惜身邊的小事」也是恩惠體悟很深的一件事。由於家人不在身旁,所以更加珍惜身邊的人的付出。

 

PART 2:Preparation Of Application to National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taiwan

Waiting to be recorded…

 

PART 3:Q&A

If you want to ask more question about studying experiences in Taiwan, please click the following link.
>> http://bit.ly/ioh_fb_group_161031

 

 

International Bachelor Program in Tourism Management, National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism

 

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Shannon Heng 王恩惠