October 27, 2023

UB Feature: SIHTM Sends Students off to Bridge USA 2023

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The University of Baguio School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management (SIHTM) is always in support of programs and initiatives that will allow their students to elevate their learning experience and hone their practical and professional skills.

The Bridge USA J1 Visa Cultural Exchange is a program that allows students to put their knowledge and training to the test through a twelve-month cultural immersion and industry training program. Standing for Broadening Reach through International Development and Global Experience, the program is the perfect opportunity for SIHTM students looking to experience the hospitality and tourism sector up close and personally, putting into practice the theories and skills they’ve cultivated within their classrooms during their time at the university.

The UB SIHTM has been participating in the Bridge USA Cultural Exchange Program for more than two decades now, sending off more and more students every year to enhance their skills and grow as professionals in their field of practice.

Every year during the general orientation, first-year SIHTM students are briefed on all of the programs and services offered by the school and the university, making them aware of all of the opportunities open to them during their stay. If they show any interest in the international internship and cultural exchange programs being offered, the school is ready to accommodate their needs and help them prepare.

During their third year, the students go through a secondary orientation that assists them through the application process from start to finish. The school offers guidance on preparing the necessary documents, such as their passport, to ensure that their application goes smoothly and without any hitches.

As the students get everything ready on their end, the teachers also do their best to prepare them for the road ahead. SIHTM teachers embrace industry practices and apply them within classroom lessons, ensuring that students receive the training they need to master the relevant skills and techniques to be globally competitive individuals. 

Alumni experiences are also taken into account to further improve the theoretical and practical training of the students. By knowing which part of the curriculum and the school facilities needs to be improved upon and updated, the training the students receive is constantly evolving and improving to match that of the global standard of the professional world.

Once they are fully ready, the students are sent off to join the program. During their twelve months in the US, the students are exposed to American culture and a foreign work environment, opening them up to a diverse array of experiences that not only build their character but also strengthen their professional skills and work ethic. Between traveling the States and working for their host companies, the students receive a balance of fun adventure and professional training that facilitates their personal growth.

The learning experience doesn’t stop when they get home. Once the students arrive back in the Philippines, they are called in for a one-on-one meeting with the school Dean to help them process their experiences in a formative and enriching way. The post-immersion debriefing aims to help the students internalize their experiences in ways that positively impact their development as students and future professionals.

The support offered by the school doesn’t end there. Even after graduation, the school continues to provide and extend services to its alumni. The SIHTM has forged bonds with universities like Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia, which allows them to pursue further post-graduate studies abroad. Similar to their support in processing Bridge USA applicants, the school aids graduates in the processing of applications and documents in the event that they want to further their education abroad.

As SIHTM students continue to pursue avenues outside of the classroom for education and professional training, the school administration continues to extend its support in ensuring that students receive the best academic and professional opportunities. Whether it’s through the Bridge USA J1 Visa Cultural Exchange or other partnerships and programs, the School of International Hospitality and Tourism Management strives to provide quality education and exceptional training to its students to ensure that they can achieve excellence and growth in their academic and professional careers.

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