As a hospitality student, you are trained to follow industry standards.
But what about the industry standards of another country?
Students of Dr. Yoshimasa (Nancy) Kageyama’s hospitality marketing class gained this international experience by completing their class projects with other hospitality students – in Taiwan.
Designed for junior and senior hospitality students, this course provides an insider perspective of marketing in the hospitality industry.
But Kageyama wanted her students to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
So, she collaborated with the Chihlee University of Technology in Chihlee, Taiwan.
“Marketing is broader than people think,” Kageyama said. “It’s very important to gain international experience in this sector of hospitality, as it differs from the industry standards in the United States.”
Through Missouri State University’s International Virtual Exchange Program (IVE), fully funded by the Globally Responsive Education and Teaching (GREAT) Program, the students of Missouri State and Chihlee University of Technology joined forces to complete a business expansion project.
Students were given the opportunity to achieve the following course goals:
- Identify and apply the knowledge and skills necessary for hospitality and tourism operations.
- Develop a written marketing plan and communicate marketing strategies for hospitality and tourism organizations.
- Analyze marketing environments and competitive strategies to formulate sound marketing and business decisions.
Each student also earned a Google Analytics for Beginners certificate.
A digital connection
When your classmates are on the other side of the world, coordinating schedules can be tricky.
Students of HSP410 overcame their fair share of obstacles, like the 14-hour time difference and finding the right communication platform.
“Using WhatsApp was a great resource to get connected, but one issue was that it wouldn’t let us add in the Taiwanese students’ phone numbers,” a student said. “Instead, we had to wait for one of their group members to individually send their separate QR codes, so it took a while to get connected.”
Aside from the initial setup struggles, students on both sides of the world made meaningful connections with each other.
“I feel like the knowledge and opportunity to speak with international students helped me to see how the hospitality industry is different and has expanded to other countries,” junior hospitality leadership major Alyssa Mills said. “Learning how they manage hospitality helps us in so many ways.”
“My favorite thing about this course is that I could recognize the differences and characteristics between countries and practice communication,” a Chihlee University of Technology student said. “It’s invaluable because it’s difficult for us to have international and intercultural experiences. It’s a precious memory.”
Students completed projects focused on business expansion from the United States into Taiwan.
One group based their project on expanding a Disney World theme park to Taiwan.
You can watch their presentation here:
Kageyama wants to teach this course again but with a few slight tweaks.
“I want the next section of this course to be in-person for a full semester,” she said. “Having both the constraints of an online course and the course material compacted into 8 weeks instead of 16 makes it challenging for everyone.”
Nonetheless, it was a great first run.