College News Main Headline

Open Day shows IFTM strengths to potential students

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The annual IFTM Open Day drew scores of high-school students from Macao and further afield to the Mong-Há Campus in January. Alongside their parents, and their number boosted by members of the public, they came to find out about the style of education offered by the Institute.

Among the would-be students at the event was Philippine-born Aletha Mae. Aletha will finish her secondary schooling at Escola São João de Brito this summer and she is leaning toward studying Hotel Management at IFTM.

“Macao is known for its casinos and I want to do something that contributes to Macao,” Aletha said after watching a demonstration of housekeeping. “I would be interested in knowing more about how things work in hotels.”

Another potential student is Hong Kong-born Lui Suet Yee. Suet Yee is weighing whether to study abroad, or head to IFTM to study towards a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management or Culinary Arts Management.

“I would rather stay in Macao because there are more career opportunities,” Suet Yee said. She added IFTM was the obvious choice in Macao as a place to study tourism and hospitality.

Suet Yee set out to speak to staff and undergraduates during the Open Day to find out about the courses IFTM offers and student life at the Institute. She attended the IFTM Open Day with her parents and with Ms. Fiona Haughton, a guidance counsellor at the School of Nations, an international school in Macao.

“It’s pretty well-known. It has a good reputation in Macao and very competitive tuition,” Ms. Haughton said of IFTM. “This is a good school for students who want to stay within Asia.”

The IFTM Open Day demonstrates that a combination of theory and practice is central to teaching at the Institute. Among the features of the event are presentations on campus life and demonstrations of academic and non-academic activities on campus.

The IFTM Open Day is special in that students of the Institute studying for bachelor’s degrees in Tourism Event Management, Culinary Arts Management and Hotel Management – as well as in other IFTM programmes – help arrange the event. They plan and stage many of the Open Day’s attractions.

Among the students involved in organising was Victoria Zhou, a fourth-year student of Hotel Management. Victoria gave a talk on opportunities for IFTM students to go abroad on exchange or to complete an internship, and spoke about her experience as an exchange student at Bournemouth University in Britain.

IFTM has arrangements with scores of institutions of higher education around the world that offer its students opportunities to broaden their horizons by going on exchanges. IFTM students may also go abroad for internships, summer programmes or to attend international conferences.

“The exchange programme allowed me to experience a different lifestyle in another country, and it helped me explore the Western world,” said Victoria. She feels that her time in Bournemouth better prepared her for postgraduate studies.

Future prospects

Other features of this year’s IFTM Open Day were briefings and drop-in workshops at the specialist facilities of the Institute. There were also discussions with outstanding alumni, including IFTM Alumni Association Executive Committee President Ms. Kitty Tong. Ms. Tong graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Management and later pursued a career in professional services.

“I’m here to tell prospective students what kind of future they can expect once they graduate from IFTM,” Ms. Tong said.

The IFTM curriculum stresses learning from experience. It puts students in real situations and poses real challenges by giving them hands-on projects to do, and by sending them to serve internships. This gives them chances to learn, through collaboration with each other, the full spectrum of skills the Institute teaches – skills likely to be important for their careers.

Ms. Tong said the results of a recent survey indicated that 93 percent of businesses employing IFTM graduates were satisfied with their performance. She said surveys of alumni found more than one-fifth were in senior positions.