Studying tourism at a regional institution that epitomises multiculturalism has and continues to produce successful graduates over the years and prepares its students to serve in the international tourism industry.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Tourism and Hospitality Management from The University of the South Pacific (USP) Emalus Campus in Vanuatu last week (May 5, 2023), Kevineth Garae said his study experience at the Laucala Campus in Suva has undoubtedly prepared him to join the regional and international tourism industry.
“Not once did I imagine pursuing a career in tourism while growing up. I chose to take a chance on tourism in Form 7, applying for a scholarship from the New Zealand High Commission in Vanuatu, which I ended up attaining.”
It wasn’t until Garae started his classes at the Laucala Campus that he realised tourism “is a new and growing market worldwide, and it connects the globe into what is now known as a global village that requires better management to avoid it becoming a nuisance to Pacific societies, and it provides a good source of income for Pacific Islanders.”
The Ni-Vanuatu lad said he ‘never regretted pursuing tourism at USP because of its diverse community that enabled me to learn and appreciate different cultures and meet and make new friends not only from various Pacific Islands but as far as South Korea.”
“Three years of study away from home has its share of challenges, moments of happiness, and lifelong experiences, which will be forever etched in my heart as I pursue my dream further in the tourism industry.”
Garae shared that being away from his family for three years was the most difficult decision, “especially with my aged parents”, but his determination to pursue his dream and return home kept him going.
“Having group discussions was a study tactic that helped me clear my doubts on any topic I found hard to understand. In addition, I would always go through lecture recordings to help clarify a few things during my study. I love attending all lectures and tutorial sessions.”
He advises that it’s crucial for students not to take growth and personal development opportunities for granted and to set achievable goals that are not ludicrous.
“While we can achieve whatever we set our mind on, it’s equally important to set realistic short-term goals that will propel us to where we eventually want to be. Growth happens when we succeed in every short-term plan, we set for ourselves, which I learned during my three years of study at USP.”
“Tourism is an exciting field, and some might say it is the most accessible pathway, but I can say it’s not. It requires a lot of effort, perseverance, and consistency, and this starts with attending lectures and tutorials to get better grades or even pass the course before you can be ready to join the industry.”
He added that the support from his classmates, course coordinators, parents and families during his study was overwhelming, adding that his favourite hangout spot at the Laucala Campus was Moana Park, “a quiet and peaceful place, especially during the weekends and holidays.”
After collecting his degree last Friday, Garae dedicated his achievement “to my friends, my family, and even my community for their endless support and a massive ‘Thank Yu Tumas’ also to the New Zealand High Commission in Vanuatu for their tremendous support during my studies abroad away from my family.”
The Ni-Vanuatu student has plans to upgrade his qualification further whilst working in the tourism sector in his home country.