by Andrea JudyThrough an international exchange program in Robinson College’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration, undergraduate student Anna Boswell spent a semester studying in Macao, China, at the Institute for Tourism Studies. While there, Boswell traveled through black sand beaches, cobblestone lanes, and a fusion of Chinese and Portuguese cultures.
As one of richest cities in the world, Macao has a thriving economic life and a growing tourism industry that allowed Boswell to see the inner workings of hospitality in China. “In my building management course, I was able to go on a behind-the-scenes tour and meet building officials from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. In my cooking class, I learned how to prepare a variety of Asian dishes. I went on a medical tourism field trip to Seoul, South Korea, where I was able to take part in an acupuncture experiment, visit some of the most famous temples, as well as attend a few religious ceremonies, and I spent Halloween in one of the most popular districts in South Korea,” Bowell says. Learning about a wide range of topics, from building management to the steps involved in creating an elegant dinner, showed Boswell the multi-faceted sides and the fast-paced world of hospitality. Being around so many incredible events and seeing the rapid growth of tourism in Macao helped Boswell better realize her own goals of working in event planning.
The experiences gave her invaluable knowledge that she’s brought back for her final year at Georgia State University. On top of being a hospitality student, Boswell works for the Spotlight Programs Board helping to plan art and culture events for all of GSU to enjoy. Boswell says, “Although I am not in China, I am able to use the things I learned and share my growth with all those I come in contact with.” Her experiences in Macao have given her an international perspective that she can add to future events.
The chance to study in a new culture made a lasting impression on Boswell, who explains, “Studying abroad was a life-changing experience, one I will always cherish.” She knows this new perspective on culture, tourism, and the work needed for an event to run smoothly will impact her for years to come.
Boswell’s study abroad was made possible by the Institute for Tourism Studies, which offers degree and professional programs in a wide range of tourism-related disciplines such as hospitality, tourism business, heritage, events, retail and marketing, leisure and entertainment, sports and recreation, creative and cultural studies, and culinary arts.