Visiting international students experience American tourism

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In addition, lead investigators Dr. Bob Lee, program coordinator for tourism, leisure and event planning (TLEP), and Dr. Yu Liu from BUU will use information gathered from the visit to study the impact of educational visitations between two institutions from different cultures as to whether they can help to reduce alienation and increase appreciation among foreign students. 

“This visit is just a part of the process to strengthen the already established relationship between the TLEP program at BGSU and the Department of Tourism Economy at BUU,” Lee said. “The program is designed to enhance collaboration between the two universities and promote future study abroad opportunities for students of both institutions.”

When students arrived on campus Dec. 20, they were met by members of BGSU’s administration along with faculty, staff, students and Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards. During their stay, the guests were introduced to different American customs, toured the campus, shopped in local shopping centers and visited popular tourist destinations in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. 

“Many were nervous about the trip because it was unfamiliar, but by the end some of the students showed interest in coming back here to study,” Lee said.

During their Bowling Green campus tour, many students commented on the beauty of BGSU and were amazed by the relaxed atmosphere and student-oriented design of the academic buildings. 

BUU student Fuya Hilary, sharing her experiences with the group, said that the trip was meaningful and memorable. She said she realized American culture is full of love and respect and added that she now has a better understanding of American culture and tourism and is able to see the difference between tourism in the U.S. and tourism in China. 

Both countries continue to be listed in the top five of most traveled countries in the world, and a complete understanding of tourism in the two countries is pivotal for students who want to enter the hospitality and tourism industry.

“When I traveled to BUU with Dr. Marcia Salazar-Valentine, executive director of international programs and partnerships, Dr. Matt Kutz, associate professor of athletic training, and Dr. Amy Morgan, associate dean, we were inspired by the advanced technology of the Tourism Laboratory facilities and equipment,” said Lee. “Our visit validated the importance of cultural appreciation for each other and also for future development.” 

The BUU students completed their visit with individual presentations on American tourism and culture and conducted a brief interview with Dr. Lee about their visit. 

As the partnership with BUU and BGSU continues to grow, more opportunities will become available for BGSU students to study Chinese tourism at BUU. 

For more information about the tourism, leisure and event planning program, visit the program's home page.