HomeRecoletos Multidisciplinary Research Journalvol. 3 no. 1 (2015)

Tourism and Hospitality Management Students undergoing US Work and Travel Program: A Phenomenological Inquiry

Steven N. Sasam | Gelena Asis-dimpas | Antoniette Dayagbil

Discipline: Business



Tourism professionals expect universities to produce graduates who could deliver and perform functions based on industry standards. Universities have long integrated International Placements to heighten student competencies, bridge the gap between theoretical awareness and industry practice, and meet the expectations of the practitioners. However, there have been reports of unfavorable encounters of students on placement abroad such as being homesick, feeling out of place, and difficulty in reconciling expectation-reality gaps. These are the key issues that hinder students from optimizing international exposure programs and compromise the quality of their learning. A phenomenological study was used to examine the lived experiences of the tourism and hospitality management students on international placement. An in-depth interview was conducted as the primary source of data collection. The data were coded and analyzed according to the research questions. The research resulted in three (3) major themes which emerged out of the experiences shared by the student interns: 1.) struggles experienced in foreign country; 2.) skills/strategies to cope with the adversities; 3.) interns communication practices. The results of this study served as the basis in enhancing the e monitoring support system for the internship coordinator in the home university.