A new tourism scholarship partnership with a US university means more opportunities for Caymanians to advance their careers abroad.
UCCI’s Shoool of Hospitality Studies told Cayman 27 its students are putting the foundations in place now to excel in future tourism studies, and in fact, the aim is to set up similar partnerships with other universities.
“With these partnerships they get international experience, they get exposure to a wider world of hospitality and when they come back home they can contribute in a very robust manner to the industry as a whole,” said UCCI School of Hospitality Studies Director Wayne Jackson, who told Cayman 27 the programme is helping today’s students lay the building blocks for rewarding careers in tourism.
“That foundation work, that discipline, initially sets you apart from the others applying to the programme,” said Mr. Jackson.
“As a young Caymanian, I just want to benefit well, and enjoy something that I do as well,” said hospitality student Amarrie Bodden. She told Cayman 27 she’s keen to pursue the opportunity to further her studies, and maybe even participate in athletics abroad.
“I know at Johnson and Wales they provide a sports programme for you, so definitely that would’ve a choice for me because I do enjoy sports and I do enjoy running,” said Ms. Bodden.
She said the incentive-driven scholarship, linked to grade point average and topping out at $15,000 US, is a great motivating factor to keep her grades up.
“I passed math and English, so i’m moving up, so it’s going well,” she said.
“It’s really based on how you perform. Merit based. I’m much in favor of that so the students can actually show that they earn, that they deserve what they have attained and achieved,” said Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson said the plan is to set up similar arrangements with other universities in the US, Canada, and the UK to prepare students to come back and write the next chapter in cayman’s tourism success story.
“The market here is ripe, it’s budding, it’s coming alive,” said Mr. Jackson.
Representatives from Johnson and Wales said the university caters to many Caribbean students, and that culture shock shouldn’t be much of a factor for those transitioning to a study-abroad scenario.