Jamaica Study Tour group Earlier this summer, nine students from the Department of Retailing and Tourism Management traveled to Jamaica with Dr. Desmond Brown, Associate Professor, as part of a study abroad course. Offered in partnership with University of Technology (UTech) in Jamaica, the course focused on experiencing the Jamaican tourism industry, exploring its development over time and understanding the impact of tourism in the current Jamaican economy. The overall goal was to provide students with a unique inter-cultural experience to help prepare them for careers in hospitality and tourism management.

Through the excursions and visits incorporated in the itinerary, students experienced the differences between the service culture in the United States and Jamaica, and explored the culture of the island. Events and activities were based in three venues: Montego Bay, Kingston and Negril. The trip also included a series of lectures and presentations from faculty in the School of Hospitality Management at UTech. Guided visits featured varied segments of the tourism industry, including emerging trends in sports tourism, heritage tourism, music tourism and culinary tourism.

Participant Brynn Lehman shared, “This trip was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had while attending the University of Kentucky. I not only got the opportunity to explore and experience a tourism culture different from my own, but I also gained knowledge about the Jamaican culture. Studying abroad opens your mind more than a textbook ever could. The information presented to you in a classroom is vital to your success as a student, but the information you collect through experiences while abroad will stick with you for the rest of your life.”

Cecelia Ogbogu stated, “The trip to Jamaica was amazing. Getting the opportunity to experience three different cities all in one trip was phenomenal. We toured many venues and learned they all play a direct role in contributing to the tourism industry in Jamaica. I would encourage any student considering study abroad that it is well worth it.”

Author: Kim Henken
Contact: Desmond Brown
Terms: RTM