When students from overseas seek a high-quality education in tourism and hospitality, acquired in a cosmopolitan environment, IFTM is historically among the foremost institutions selected. Although restrictions on international travel related to the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the ability of tertiary education institutions across the globe to recruit students from overseas, the Institute has been able to retain its appeal to international students.
Students from overseas say they are attracted to the Institute, thanks to its high degree of specialisation in tourism and hospitality, its high standing in international academic rankings, and by the use of English as the medium of instruction.
Marta Jupiter Edu Nguema Afang (Jupita), from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, is a Year 1 student in the Tourism Business Management Bachelor Degree Programme. She previously took a 1-year Chinese language course in Tianjin, Mainland China. While there, and following discussions with her family, she decided to pursue an academic degree in tourism.
“During my searches for ‘tourism taught in English in China’, I became aware of IFTM,” she says. “From the Institute’s website, everything seemed so great and interesting, that I applied for the programme.”
For the initial part of the current academic year, Jupita was unable to be in Macao, due to some entry restrictions related to COVID-19 applicable to foreigners. The Institute ensured she had enough support during that period, until travel rules were eased, and she was able to come to the city.
Marta hopes that what she learns at IFTM will help her play a role in advancing tourism and hospitality in Equatorial Guinea. The African country’s economy has been traditionally reliant on commodity trading, in products such as cocoa, coffee and timber, as well as on exploitation of petroleum and natural gas resources. Tourism is however a nascent industry.
“Tourism in my country is way further advanced now than it was before,” Jupita says. “We have a Ministry of Tourism and the industry is growing.”
In Jordan, in the Middle East, tourism is already a major industry. The nation has large areas of desert, as well as Petra, a world-famed archaeological site. Those factors combined draw millions of tourists to the country each year.
When Jordanian student Faisal Ahmed Amin Hishma decided to pursue a degree in tourism, he began searching online for suitable options. He learned about IFTM on the QS World University Rankings website, listing the world’s top universities and institutes. The Institute is currently ranked there as 14th worldwide, 2nd in Asia and 1st in Macao, among higher education institutions in hospitality and leisure management.
“I told my parents that Macao was not only about gambling: there is a strong cultural component to the city,” he says. “There are large-scale hotels in Macao, including some of the biggest in the world. So, I decided to come here to study.”
Faisal is a Year 2 student in the Hotel Management Bachelor Degree Programme. He says he chose this field because hospitality is a people-oriented industry, and those working in the field must be outgoing in attitude.
Faisal, currently the only Jordanian student at IFTM, recommends that other young people from his country choose the Institute to further their studies. “It is important to go abroad and open your mind,” he states.
Le Nguyen Uyen Nhi Kim, a Year 3 student on the Hotel Management Bachelor Degree Programme, comes from Vietnam. She says IFTM usually welcomes “1 or 2” fresh undergraduates from the Southeast Asian country each academic year. Due to the COVID-9 pandemic, she is currently the only IFTM Vietnamese student staying in Macao.
She learned about IFTM through an Institute-led promotional campaign. After getting advice from a friend that was already studying at the Institute at the time, she decided it was the right choice for her.
“I like hotel management, but in Vietnam we don’t have a higher education school dedicated only to tourism and hospitality. When I tried to get more information about Macao, I learnt that tourism is very strong here,” she says.