Well, hello all. I’ve been very busy with my second week of induction, this one specifically for my course/program. There are nine of us on the MA course in Tourism so far, which is great, since we’ll all get to know each other very well. So far, it seems to be a good mix of personalities and cultures. We have 4 students from China, one from Peru, one from Italy, one from Slovenia, a lone Brit who’ll be arriving next week, and myself. We’ve had presentations from all of our tutors (professors to you back home) on the individual modules (classes) that comprise the course. Some are mandatory (things like Tourism Politics & Policy, as well as International Tourism & Globalization), others we must pick 2 of 3 (I’m taking International Marketing Strategy this semester and a Human Resource Management class next semester), and we also have 2 electives (Sustainable Tourism is my choice for semester one and I’ll hopefully take E-tourism next term). I’m a bit overwhelmed with how much work this is going to entail. It doesn’t help to have tutors making comments like: “You’ll spend more time in the library than you will in bed.” and “A moment spent stressed is a moment wasted.” (That last comment was made by a woman we have all decided we disliked straight away.) Overall, the tutors are very helpful and considerate of what we wish to get out of the course. I’m really impressed by how much has been put into the last two weeks as far as orienting us and showing special concern for the needs of the international students. Some have very limited English, so it will be especially difficult for them. I’m lucky in that I have no language barrier, I’m not homesick, and I’ve been exposed to British culture, etc. before. Having a degree in English won’t hurt either, although I do feel the students from the EU have it above me on the research skills. Here, one has to complete a dissertation for an undergraduate degree as well!
We have a new student in our house who arrived last weekend from China. She is 38, married with one child, and is here for one term to improve her English, as she teaches English back home. Very nice lady…and am learning some interesting things about China, especially the one child policy. Because she works for the government, she is required to have an IUD and every three months go for a scan (ultrasound) to make sure that it is still in and that she is not pregnant. If she were to become pregnant, she would either have to have an abortion or lose her job and pay a hefty one-time fine for having another child. I asked if she would like to have more children if she could, and she gave a big wide-eyed no. I think she has enough to contend with having her husband, daughter and mother-in-law around;)
Had a field trip to a wee six flags wannabe theme park (i can’t help the snobby american coming out at times) and must do a short presentation on it in about a half an hour (is is a successful tourism attraction, what could be improved, how might it be more sustainable, etc). Booooring!