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Practical insights add value for UK exchange student at IFT

IFT exchange student Frances McNally
中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

In January IFT welcomed an undergraduate from Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom on a one-semester exchange. The student, Frances McNally, from Whitley Bay in northeast England, is in Macao until early June. She is currently taking a 4-year Bachelor of Arts with Honours in the field of International Tourism Management at Leeds Beckett University.

She explains how she came to apply for exchange study at IFT.

“About 4 years ago I came to Macao on holiday with my family and I really liked it as a place, as a city. And when I had the chance to come back here, to a very good tourism school, I jumped at the opportunity,” Frances says.

She adds: “The study in Macao had to be as close a match as possible to the studies I would have in Leeds. So I am taking marketing, management, human resources, management of attractions, and law and legislation in tourism. That last one wasn’t as closely matched [with studies at home] but it was interesting to me, so they [Leeds Beckett] agreed that I could take it,” she explains.

The latter module on her Macao exchange mostly focuses on local labour law, commercial law, and the Macao Basic Law.

She thinks that getting some understanding of the continental law legal system used in Macao – as opposed to the common law system used in most Anglophone countries – will “help if I work in another country”.

Frances says a key difference between IFT and Leeds Beckett University is that IFT is “much more focused on the practical side; actually, putting what you learn, to use”.

She notes that IFT nonetheless offers academic rigour. “A few of my IFT classes have group work so there are continuous deadlines. So, you always have to focus on the academic part of your studies as well,” Frances says.

The need for her to align her Macao studies with the topics at her home institution means that she is not doing practicums while at IFT. But she says that simply being around staff and students that are making frequent reference to the practical application of theoretical study has given her fresh insights into her chosen professional field.

“There is always discussion on campus here that if you work in such and such a role, ‘this is what you’ll do’,” she notes.

One of the things she likes about IFT is its strong sense of community. Leeds Beckett University is a very large multi-campus institution. It had nearly 25,000 students in academic year 2016/17, according to data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency.

“At IFT, there is a very good community spirit. It feels like everyone knows everyone else; everyone comes together, and that’s a really nice feeling,” says Frances.

Frances already has plans for a new learning experience outside the UK after completing her exchange at IFT: later this year she will head off to Florida in the United States, for an internship at Walt Disney World.