HTM sponsors Portugal trip in May


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Portugal is often regarded as western Europe’s undiscovered gem

Business professors Todd Comen and Henrique Cezar will be taking 13 students to visit Portugal from May 15 to May 30. This trip is another international trip similar to the class that Professor Norm McElvany will be leading to Italy at the same time this May.

The students will travel in vans between the regions of Porto, Peso da Regua, Aviero, Coimbra, Evora, Lagos, and Lisboa. “We’re going to go the the coast, we’re going to go to wine areas, we’re going to go to sustainable agritouristic areas,” said Cezar. “The purpose of the trip is cultural integration with a Hospitality Tourism and Management approach.”

Before the students get on the plane, they have to study the country, complete reading assignments, and prepare presentations in pairs about regions of Portugal. Once there, the pairs of students will have to present their findings not only before fellow classmates, but to other students attending ESAC, or Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra. ESAC, a state-run university based in Coimbra, focuses mainly on agriculture, with areas of study that include biotechnology, food engineering and organic farming.

“We have been in contact with local universities in Portugal. They have helped us create the itinerary, and there will be three or four students with us all the time there,” said Cezar. “So students will have to not only know more about the country before they visit, but about the local universities as well.” Cezar has been in contact with Professor Pedro Moraes at ESAC about bringing JSC Hospitality and Tourism Management students in contact with other universities, including UC, ESEC, and EHTC. Professor Moraes also expressed interest in showing students an ecotourism site along the Mondego River.

Cezar has led trips abroad before, but never to Portugal.“I have led three trips before, to Brazil. In 2008 and 2009, I took the students to the Amazon jungle area. In 2010, I took them to the northern coast. Same country, two completely different regions,” Cezar said.

While the trip may sound like a great vacation, on top of the work done abroad there is still plenty of work to do back in Vermont. “When they come back, they will have to write a reflection paper,” said Cezar. “They will have to show their journals, and that is how they will be evaluated.”

Students interested in future international trips should speak with professors Norm McElvany, Henrique Cezar, or Todd Comen. International trips are generally announced and registered for before the end of the fall semester.