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Five ways ITC teaches cultural awareness

Posted on 07/08/2018 by

A performance during Global Wednesday, a student event that teaches about cultural awareness.

To thrive in the tourism industry, it’s essential to cultivate a deep and genuine appreciation of different cultures. Cultural awareness is one of the best skills a tourism professional can possess — which is why ITC teaches it in several ways.

One ITC graduate — Madison Ryan — is now working in customer service for Explore. When asked to name a skill she learned at ITC that she uses every day in her career, she said cultural awareness. So did Gerrit Faalogo (who is in Aviation Security Service), Mikaela Rivers (who is working for a hotel), and Jasmine Tua (who is working for Menzies Aviation), as well as many more ITC graduates.

Jasmine Tua says studying at ITC helped her “gain confidence when speaking to new people travelling from the other side of the world”.

So how does ITC foster a sense of cultural awareness in its students? Here are five innovative ways ITC teaches cultural awareness to tourism students.

1. Global Wednesday student event

Every year, ITC runs a student event called Global Wednesday. Each class is assigned a country and must inform the other classes about this country’s culture. This turns into a fun day of food, music, dress-up and performance. The students learn about a range of different countries while also gaining confidence through public speaking and working as a team. It’s one of the best days on the ITC annual calendar.

2. International student population

It’s no mistake that ITC is called the International Travel College: several international students come to study here each year. International students join domestic students in the classroom, where they learn about each other’s culture and bounce ideas off each other. ITC has welcomed students from countries such as France, Tahiti, Russia, China, New Caledonia, South Korea, and more.

3. Practical role plays

An education at ITC includes plenty of practical role plays, where students have the opportunity to practice their customer service skills in the classroom environment. Tutors are on-hand to offer feedback and provide tips for interacting with people from different cultures. The role plays are fantastic for giving students the confidence to provide customer service with a smile.  

4. Information about key international travel markets

All ITC qualifications include some information about key international travel markets, with Level 4 courses and above exploring these topics in-depth. Students also have the opportunity to learn about international reservations and ticketing systems. In addition, tutors keep students informed about tourism news around New Zealand and the world.

5. Site visits and work experience

ITC encourages students to experience the tourism industry firsthand through site visits, work experience, or temporary jobs (such as with TRENZ or for the cruise liners). This gives students the chance to observe tourism professionals in their element and to meet and greet with travellers from around the world. When students get back from work experience or a site visit, they have a renewed appreciation for different cultures and feel excited to meet even more new people in their future career.

Do you dream of studying tourism and meeting people from around the world? Get in touch today to learn how ITC can get your tourism career off to a flying start.

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