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Carmarthenshire Education News West Wales

Creating life-changing opportunities to learn, study and volunteer all over the world

STUDENTS from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have spent time in Vancouver, Canada as part of Taith, Wales’s international learning exchange programme. The programme creates life-changing opportunities to learn, study and volunteer all over the world. It also brings learners and educators from around the world to Wales.

The University believes that global experiences are an essential part of a well-rounded education and has partnered with a diverse range of universities across the globe to offer students the chance to expand their horizons, immerse themselves in different cultures, and gain a fresh perspective on their field of study.

The students from the University’s International Travel, Tourism and Events programmes visited Douglas College to learn about the opportunities to study there and visited attractions locally and further afield including a baseball game and ice hockey match and Cloverdale Country Fair and Rodeo.

Jacqui Jones, Programme Manager and Senior Lecturer for the Tourism and Events courses at UWTSD said: “The trip was an inspirational global experience for the students, enabling them to learn about different cultures and apply their academic knowledge in tourism to enhance their employability.”

The group also visited Langley Historic Fort, home of the Hudson Bay Company before a trip on a ferry to Vancouver Island to visit Camosun College for a campus tour and Dunlop House, home of the Hospitality Faculty where they were entertained for tea, a tour and a guest lecture.

A shuttle bus up the Sea to Sky Highway to historic Squamish for a complementary visit to Sea to Sky Gondola was another highlight, together with an educational whale watching trip.

At Whistler, staff met with the senior management of the Four Seasons Resort to develop placement links.

The trip also involved meeting up with UWTSD graduates working in Canada. The students were welcomed at the start by UWTSD International Travel & Tourism alumni Raffique George.

Raffique graduated from UWTSD in 2019 after travelling from St Vincent to study Tourism. Raffique initially joined One Lounge in an Operational Hospitality role and is now Assistant Manager of the Lounges at Gatwick South Terminal.

He shared his career story with the students, reflecting on the benefits of their studies and the international field trip experiences he had enjoyed in Switzerland and Malaysia, as well as explaining his current VIP management role at the airport.

The trip concluded with a chance to meet up with Tourism and Events graduate Caoimhe McNulty, during a dinner at Granville Island, who now works for luxury inbound destination management company Discover Holidays, with a range of providers from Rocky Mountain Trains to package luxury tours.

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Student Matthew Morgan said: “One highlight of the trip was when we went whale watching but the main highlight was going back to Whistler and visiting Squamish where I met the management team and was offered a placement for next summer.”

Clyde Seisun said: “This trip has been an amazing cultural experience for me! I have seen and done things I never thought was possible. I definitely will be coming back to Vancouver.”

Caitlin Morgan: “A once in a lifetime experience! It was amazing. I have grown so much as a person from this trip. From gaining understanding of what I want to do/ achieve in the future, I have also learnt things about myself and overcome fears. I would like to thank everyone that made this educational trip happen for me to gain an understanding the careers available after graduation. There’s only so much you can do on paper, it’s the practical stuff that matters.”

Rhiannon Gratrix said: “The trip to Vancouver offered me an amazing opportunity to visit the world learning about the culture, tourism and events industry which provided me with information to develop personally and professionally through the observation of hotel operations to experiencing the tourist attractions such as whale watching which was by far my favourite activity on the trip. 

“This trip has really opened my eyes to the opportunities and potential from my degree and has helped me to grow as an individual hugely. “

Shauna Whitcombe: “My highlight was learning about how tourism works with indigenous cultures, history and art in Canada and I’d now like a role like this working with a heritage and cultural attraction in Wales.”

Elise Williams: “The trip to Vancouver was an amazing experience. Getting to visit Whistler, Granville Island and the Sea to Sky Gondola were just some of my favourite excursions and experiences from the trip.”

Pic caption : Elise Williams and Caitlin Morgan, who are both graduating with firsts in International Travel and Tourism Management from UWTSD this summer.