UofSC strengthens partnership with University of Aruba
By Allen Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-5667
University of South Carolina students will have opportunities to learn about tourism and hospitality management for years to come in a setting that closely resembles paradise, thanks to a newly extended partnership with the University of Aruba.
“The two programs have done more than 15 research projects together and have added value to the Aruba and South Carolina programs via guest lectures, teaching and mentoring of junior faculty members.”
The collaboration between the universities provides study abroad exchange programs, funding opportunities for scholarships and doctoral students and a gateway for global knowledge advancement. In particular, the Aruba Erasmus Grant is a semester stipend and travel allowance of up to $3,600 to help fund a study abroad experience at the University of Aruba.
“The University of South Carolina and the University of Aruba have had a very productive and collaborative partnership since 2010,” says professor Robin DiPietro of South Carolina’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. “The two programs have done more than 15 research projects together and have added value to the Aruba and South Carolina programs via guest lectures, teaching and mentoring of junior faculty members.”
The partnership allows South Carolina students to participate in a semester-long study abroad exchange program designed specifically for hospitality and tourism management majors. The exchange students take classes taught in English and learn side by side with Aruban students. With fewer than 1,000 students, faculty members work closely with each student.
When not in class, South Carolina students are immersed in the friendly culture, warm climate and beautiful scenery of Aruba, a small Caribbean island with a population of about 100,000.
“I really learned a lot about myself and got to explore a new culture,” says Zahria Barber, a 2019 South Carolina graduate who spent a semester in Aruba through the partnership. “It surprised me how friendly and happy everyone was, and it taught me to open up and feel more confident about meeting new people and making new friends here on campus or anywhere I go.”
Glenn Thode, University of Aruba rector, and John Wardlaw, dean of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies, visited Columbia this month. They met with UofSC leaders including President Harris Pastides and Haemoon Oh, dean of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, to sign a memorandum of understanding that renews the partnership between the universities for another five years.
The two universities both have schools with great reputations offering degrees in hospitality and tourism management. The chance for South Carolina students to experience an island-campus education environment and to live and learn in a nation where the largest industry is tourism is invaluable.
Visit the Aruba Study Abroad page on the South Carolina College of HRSM website for more information on the program.
Banner image (L-R): John Wardlaw, dean of the University of Aruba Faculty of Hospitality, Tourism and Management Studies; Robin DiPietro, professor/director of the University of South Carolina International Institute for Foodservice Research and Education; Drew Martin, professor/director of the University of South Carolina School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management; Janine Wardlaw; Mechlidt Thode; Glenn Thode, rector of the University of Aruba; Patricia Moore-Pastides, first lady of the University of South Carolina; Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina; Haemoon Oh, dean of theUniversity of South Carolina College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management.
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