Immerse Yourself in Other Cultures

Segment #18 from Florida International University


Now let’s go over to Leeanne, who is at the student run wine spectator restaurant management lab. Where Panthers learned to think like restaurant owners. Leeanne is a hospitality major who has had her college experience enrich through study abroad programs. She’s gonna talk about her semester at sea. From Columbia to Chile she delighted in local food and engaged in local culture, Leeanne you’re on.

Thank you Alex, hello everyone and welcome to FIU. I knew FIU is where I want to study hospitality because everything is happening here. Miami is known for its hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, restaurants and events. The FIU chaplain school is one of the top 40 hospitality schools in the world. Every year, Miami is hosted to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Students volunteer for a variety of positions. We work with sloppy chefs, pour legendary wines, and apply everything we’ve learned to create a memorable experience for the guest. The festival provides students with experience and industry connections. The money raised comes back to the chaplain school of hospitality and tourism management. FIU has recently partnered with Bacardi as part of our food and beverage program. Through this partnership, I was able to intern with Bacardi’s customer marketing and advocacy teams. This began the one of a kind award winning FIU bartenders guild, which holds weekly meetings, and you can earn your certificate in beverage excellence. FIU also has an amazing study abroad program. The idea is to see the world from an international perspective. I got to go on a study at sea, from Columbia, to Ecuador, Peru, and finally Chile. In chile I took a trip through the desert to a vineyard on the edge of the Andes. There glass carmenet in hand, I fell in love with the process of wines and the lands they come from. This trip opened up to me the hospitality world of beverage. FIU also has pod study trips. Last year, I got to go to Las Vegas where we toured iconic resorts like MGM, Caesar’s palace, the cosmopolitan and Southern glaciers. This one-on-one with industry professionals is a real opportunity to gain insight. After the trip, I reached out to one of the presenters and gained a mentor. The approach at FIU is to grow through traveling and sharing experiences. I grew as an individual learning I could take on the world. I developed confidence putting myself into a completely new setting and being open to what it had to teach me. And when I came home, I had a wider vision of possibilities. I hope to do the semester exchange with FIUs partner school, the University of Tanj in China. And I’m definitely going on another pod in the fall. Thank you for letting me share my story, what’s next Alex?

– Thank you for sharing your story Leeanne, your travels have undoubtedly prepared you for a rich career in the hospitality industry and it looks like so much fun, take care.

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