中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese
Ramón Fiebiger can make a claim rarely made in this increasingly interconnected world: that he is a pioneer. Ramón is an undergraduate of Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany, who is on exchange to study tourism management at IFTM.
“I am the first one from my university to ever come here, so I guess I’m a pioneer,” Ramón says.
Before he looked into the opportunity afforded by the undergraduate exchange agreement between IFTM and his Munich university, Ramón knew only of the reputation Macao has for its casinos. But his lecturers in Germany drew his attention to IFTM being the first institution accredited by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) TedQual Certification System. “In terms of academic quality, it was a clear recommendation to come,” he says.
Ramón is studying at IFTM for the first semester of this academic year. He says what he has seen of the Institute so far exceeds his expectations. He likes the welcoming atmosphere. And he likes the approachability of the academic staff who, he says, are always willing to share their thoughts, particularly on non-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
The teaching at IFTM is engaging, Ramón says. “Professors expect you to reflect on the topics in class, participate, get involved,” he says. “In every class there is space for creative thought, to really learn something new and to challenge your prior perceptions.”
Ramón likes the encouragement given to IFTM students to conduct group research projects. “It’s all about taking a deep dive into several subjects, and not just scratching the surface,” he says.
IFTM lecturers present their students with a good mixture of theory and practice, particularly in courses to do with event and theme park management, Ramón says. “They have worked on major events, so they really know what they are talking about.”
Coming to Macao made a dream come true for Ramón. “I had not yet been to Asia, and it was my personal goal to be more than just a tourist, travelling around,” he says.
The handy situation of Macao has allowed Ramón to travel to places in Southeast Asia. “We recently went to Thailand to do research on attraction management and the development of theme parks, which was quite a surprise,” he says.
Staff of Munich University of Applied Sciences told Ramón that his study of tourism management would benefit from a spell abroad, preferably somewhere outside Europe or other parts of the West. He says getting fresh views of all sorts of things from Asian perspectives has made coming to IFTM thoroughly worthwhile.
Ramón says the courses he is taking at the Institute focus on inculcating the ability to lead well and to communicate well, so allowing him to improve his soft skills. “Here in Asia, it’s all about relationships, building connections,” he says. “It’s very different from the West.”
His exchange at IFTM will last for a while yet, but Ramón has already made up his mind about one thing. “I will definitely be recommending that my colleagues come to Macao,” he says.
Ramón believes his time at IFTM has advanced his academic development and that it will help him plan his career better. The wide variety of classes he is taking at the Institute has given him insights into fields such as event management, attractions, theme parks and travel services. “It could help me settle for one area in the future,” he says.