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Education Abroad Office

Institute for Tourism Studies

Description: Economically Friendly
Area: Global Exchange
Location: Macao
Country: Macao
Term: Spring, Fall, Academic Year
Website: Institute for Tourism Studies


UofSC's exchange program in Macao is designed to expose Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management students to Macanese and Chinese life and culture. While in Macao, students will attend the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT).

Macao is a peninsula located west of Hong Kong in the South China Sea. This location makes Macao a perfect base for exploring the region. Students can take ferry boats to Hong Kong or mainland China, as well as flights throughout the region. Macao's food, culture, religious traditions, and architecture are a blend of European and Chinese influences. The blend of culture, and history influences nearly every aspect of life in Macao.

Since its handover to China, Macao's economy has grown by over 500%, making it one of the world's wealthiest cities. This is due to its highly developed tourism infrastructure that revolves around casinos, hotels, and resorts. In fact, Macao is often called "Las Vegas of the East" and boasts first-class food and high end casinos. On the flip side, visitors interested in heritage tourism can explore Macao's rich past, including cobbled streets, colonial churches, and traditional food. Much of Macao's population works in the hospitality industry, making it an ideal location for the study of HRTM.

Macao is on the University Travel Warning List. Students interested in going on this exchange program will need to complete the Higher Risk Travel Petition process.

Cost: UofSC resident tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: 3.0 GPA

To get an idea of ​​life on site, you will find on the numbeo website indications on the cost of living in Macao compared to  other countries in the world.

Students typically earn 15 credit hours per semester, many courses of which can be applied toward their major or minor. IFT offers numerous hands on courses that allow students to get practical experiences for their future. To see courses UofSC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

The program does not offer organized excursions. Students do have the opportunity for individual travel. There are a number of theatres, karaoke bars, libraries, and cultural sites around Macao. Recreational facilities, public beaches and pools are also available. The IFT Student Union plans many events throughout the year.

Per university policy, all UofSC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details.

Students have a choice of living in the Student Hostel (similar to a dormitory) or apartments, though the Student Hostel option is strongly recommended. Limited assistance is provided for students choosing the apartment option. The student hostel has great amenities and is a short walk to campus. 

The academic calendar at IFT is similar to UofSC's. The fall semester at IFT runs from August through mid-December. The spring semester runs from mid-January through mid-May. Please note that IFT offers makeup exam sessions in early January for fall students and early June for spring students. Students studying at IFT during the fall semester will not be able to retake their exams due to the start of the spring semester at UofSC.

A week-long orientation will take place before the beginning of classes. During orientation week, students can participate in Cantonese classes, learn to cook traditional Macanese dishes, and go on day tours of the city.

Entry visas are not required for students studying in Macao. Once you arrive on campus, IFT will assist all students in obtaining a temporary resident permit. Please note that students will need to apply for a visa to enter mainland China. This can be arranged after arrival.


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