A total of 43 students, faculty, staff and friends enjoyed an immersive overseas learning experience in Roatan, Honduras last month by joining the University College of the Cayman Islands’ (UCCI) annual International Business Practicum (IBP). The eighth in the series of travel abroad courses offered by the UCCI Department of Business Studies (DBS), IBP 2019 enabled business students in the associate and bachelor programmes an opportunity to embrace education through experiential learning.
Participants were tasked to evaluate and assess Roatan’s economy while making comparisons to the Caymanian structure, enabling them to develop evaluative and analytical skills which will aid in personal, academic, and professional undertakings.
“The goal of this practicum was to identify strategies that would create and maintain a prosperous Caribbean society with a dynamic economy in a globalised world. Students examined ways of protecting the local environment and preserving the culture by appropriately utilising the talents of human capital and respecting the island’s values,” said Ms. Annette Murphy, IBP Team Coordinator.
In seeking to compare the Caymanian way to Roatan’s, Team 43 visited a spectrum of organisations incorporating networking entities, manufacturing companies, the service sector, and several aspects of eco-tourism. The team visited the Chamber of Commerce, the UNAH CURLA University, Zolitur, Max Communications, Tortuga Digital, the Municipalidad of Roatan, Port of Roatan, Roatan Electric Company, and The Roatan Chocolate Factory. They also a city tour, boat rides and adventures at the Gumbalina Park Canopy. Several media outlets captured the group’s activities across the island.
“Team 43 engaged with government officials, prominent business operators, professors, and students in Roatan,” said Ms. Murphy. “This allowed them to garner the uncensored data and information that are not available in literature or online.”
Some participants also visited the Escuela Grover Vendal Canaveral primary school, the Sandy Bay Ministries local orphanage, and the Cattleya Centre, a special needs school. Ms. Murphy said, “These visits added a new outreach element to the IBP course. We have decided that the inaugural project will be the adoption of the Escuela Grover Vendal Canaveral primary school. The team will be sending toys and other gifts for Christmas, and will keep in touch with the school’s activities.”
IBP students said their class was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ involvement that left an indelible impact. “It was a great experience and I have learned a lot from this trip. It has provided me with a new perspective and have made me more grateful for the blessings that we have here in the Cayman Islands. I have also realised that there are initiatives that Roatan is engaged in that could be of benefit to us and will help us tackle some of the problems we face. I will forever be thankful to UCCI for facilitating such as an amazing trip,” said Jordan Williams, UCCI associate degree student.
The IBP 2019 in Roatan forged meaningful bonds and relationships among the participants. Amory Smith from the Civil Service College said, “We left as strangers and returned as family.”
Check out the group's photo album on Facebook.