Earlier this year AoC managed a tourism and hospitality training programme on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Brazil. The Ministry sponsored 101 students to complete a 3-month training programme to develop their technical and English language skills. 10 colleges up and down the country hosted groups of the Brazilian students, including City College Plymouth, whose students experienced one of the largest UK snowfalls in years, in addition to an intensive programme of study and visits. AoC supports colleges to develop their international activity, recognising the benefits that internationalisation bring to the college campus and community.
At City College Plymouth we so much enjoyed hosting this lively group of young people from Brazil! They brought such a refreshing dimension into the College in general, and into the Tourism Department in particular. They were enthusiastic, keen to learn and keen to gain as much out of this experience of spending nearly three months in the UK as possible. They were articulate, confident and not afraid to ask for changes or additions to their programme. They experienced so many different things: visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall, the biggest tourist attraction in the SW of England, guided walks on Dartmoor and North Devon with an experienced knowledgeable professional guide, taking part in Cabin Crew classes, learning about emergency briefings amongst other things, and even came to our annual Chinese New Year Party with all our Asian students, joining in on the fun party games! They admitted to us at their farewell presentation that initially they were disappointed to be placed in a city they had never heard of before, but that by the end of their time here they would not have wanted to have been placed anywhere else, as they said Plymouth was just the best!
Our tourism teaching staff loved having them in the classroom, our local students were curious to hear about Brazil and the visiting students’ backgrounds and their different perspectives on the study of tourism. The maturity of the Brazilian students was definitely a plus here, as they had the confidence to speak in front of our students and make that connection.
My International Office colleague who was their 24 hour contact during their time here really enjoyed her interactions with these students, saying it was one of the best things she had done during her time here so far. I’ve been involved with international students now for nearly 30 years and their farewell presentation was one of the most joyous and uplifting events I have attended, we were all in tears by the end! particularly when they brought out the brigadeiros they had made the night before specially to share with us! We really hope we will have the chance to host similar groups of “turismologists” from Brazil in the future, they definitely brought a ray of South American sunshine into our College!