Korean Students Study Hospitality for Four Weeks at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management

During the month of July, 46 Students from Kyung Hee University (KHU) in Seoul South Korea took a four-week intensive seminar in hospitality and tourism at UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, supported by deep-learning and experience-based field trips to various hospitality and tourism venues. This is the eighth year of the month-long program which is designed around seminars, workshops, field trips and self-reflections.

During one week, the KHU students heard from guest speaker Tony Allen (pictured above with the students), an Executive Producer with Freeman who develops and produces high profile events all over the globe including TED Global Conferences (TED Talks) and the Climate Reality conferences with former Vice President Al Gore.

Sammi Oh, a cultural tourism student, appreciated the open dialogue between the professors, the guest speakers and the students.

“Open communication was great and very informative,” said Sammi Oh. “Our faculty members were very open with us and we felt welcome as everyone was happy to answer our questions and tell us exactly what we needed to know. I especially liked the cuisine and culture seminars.”

In the four weeks, hospitality seminars are offered Monday-Friday of each week, with an intense focus on one topic per week. Seminar topics may include:

  • Lodging Management
  • Event & Convention Management
  • Food Production – Culture & Cuisine
  • Destination Marketing & Management
  • Theme Park and Attractions Management

The seminars are offered for five hours a day, for a total of 25 hours per seminar. Some of the field trips included, seeing Universal Orlando, Royal Pacific, a visit to the Orange County Convention Center, a trip to downtown Orlando to see the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, behind the scenes at Bar Harbor Seafood, a stroll down Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL plus visits to a host of local hotels, resorts & restaurants. Of course no visit would be complete without a trip to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

KHU at Sapphire Falls Resort

Liang-Hao Liu, a student seeking a degree in hotel management said the field trips were key to the students understanding how things worked in hospitality and tourism.

“There is a difference between American minds and Asian minds,” said Liang-Hao Lui. “Seeing how things worked behind-the-scenes was great because we don’t have that component as part of our studies in my country. To see the theme parks, the hotels, the restaurants’ operations, was essential to understanding what was taught in the seminars.”

Su Bin Park, a cultural tourism student found the curriculum challenging but definitely essential to her future goals.

“You taught us that happy people make happy hospitality, said Su Bin Park. “I want to use cultural tourism to help solve the world’s problems. The presentation that I gave on using happiness will help me to do that in the future, I hope.”

The KHU students live on the Rosen College campus in the dorm apartments.  Each apartment houses up to four students, with private bedrooms, baths and full kitchens. Special holidays are celebrated, when they fall within the group’s residency. This year Independence Day was marked with a 4th of July BBQ at the dorms.

At the completion of the program, the KHU students received a Certificate of Completion jointly presented by the dean of UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Dr. Abraham Pizam, the dean KHU College of Hotel and Tourism Management, Dr. Dae-Kwan Kim, and the associate dean of UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, Dr. Youcheng Wang, who manages the program.

One of the KHU exchange students who had been to the United States on a previous visit specifically chose the Rosen College program so that he could return to the US to learn more.

“It took me five years to come back after my first time and I realized how much I missed the food like pancakes and tacos,” said Yoonoh Jeong, a tourism student. “This experience, learning here at this school and doing everything we did was better and greater than I expected.”

The program was supported this year by the following faculty members: Dr. Amy Gregory, Professor Jessica Richards, Dr. Cynthia Mejia, and Dr. Ahmet Ozturk, and coordinated by Sheryl Goins.

— (August 1, 2017)