Students from the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk have recently returned from a cultural tourism field trip to southern Spain.
The students studying Event and Tourism Management and Business Management visited Seville, Cordoba and Cadiz.
Gintare Liutkeviciute, first year Event and Tourism student said “It has been an amazing trip, with the best people! I enjoyed every minute of it and it was great to use our Spanish language knowledge. I was impressed with the discipline and dedication of Spanish students at the Dance Concervatorio, it definitely taught me how important is to focus on my goals and to be committed no matter how hard it can get. Overall, this trip was absolutely amazing, can somebody turn back time por favor?”
Laura Locke, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Event and Tourism Management who accompanied the students said “We visited museums and galleries, marvelled at the combination of Moslem, Jewish and Catholic heritage architecture displayed in the Mesquita in Cordoba, explored the Plaza de Espana in Seville where Game of Thrones and Star Wars was filmed and questioned the tour guide in Cadiz about the opportunities for developing destinations, thus extending the students’ learning from their year one and two modules.”
“There were many highlights of the tour; students were unanimous that the visit to the Conservatoire for Spanish dance in Seville was enlightening, inspiring, and inspirational.”
Accompanying Laura on the tour was Lecturer Gloria Picton. With a background in banking, Gloria teaches the Language and Culture for Business module so the students were able to put their Spanish to the test.
Fellow student Alioune Sylla said “I would recommend that every university should offer their students this opportunity. We really have been blessed to experience it. This trip offers students to get to know each other at different levels, to connect and also build friendships…we were able to practice what we have been studying in Spanish seminars for the past few weeks.”
Last year, Suffolk Business School hosted an important visit from the Education Councillor and Education Advisor of the Spanish Embassy, where we discussed the prospect of future collaboration.
In 2013, the British Council published a report on ‘Languages for the Future‘, which ranked Spanish as the most important language to learn for future growth and development. Here at the Suffolk Business School, we are well aware of the importance of Spanish as a language of international cooperation and business, and offer our students across all disciplines the chance to study and immerse themselves in the language and culture. Gloria Picton, Lecturer in Languages, previously worked in international banking, and reiterates that “languages play a vital role when competing in the jobs market”.
The first collaboration with the Spanish Embassy and Suffolk Business School took place last week at St Joseph’s College. Gloria and Concha Julian (Education Advisor) gave a talk to fifty year 9 students about employability and languages. Mr Ball, the head of Modern Languages at the college said that he wants to open the students’ eyes in order to see how languages can be a skill for life. He felt that the presentation greatly supported this and encouraged the students see how languages can make them stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive environment. Mr Ball is looking to organise further collaboration in the summer through an employability and Spanish culture workshop for his students.
We are excited to develop these links further throughout the coming months, with the eventual aim of including international internships and sandwich courses to our portfolio. Concha Julian, the Education Advisor, has already looked over the new module ‘Languages and Culture in Business Context’ and she felt that it was both innovative and practical students personal and professional development. The Spanish Embassy is happy to support us with visits, talks and seminars. In fact, they are so enthusiastic that they have already arranged to come and have a talk in March!