Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages
Centara Group Overseas Internship Collaboration
- Becoming Slashie: Language students have become Slashie through taking part in this overseas internship collaboration program.
- Exchange at national, territorial and industrial boundaries: The overseas internship collaboration enables students to leave their comfort zone, crossing national, territorial and industrial boundaries, to enhance their professional development.
- Multilingual learning: student interns are situated in multilingual regions of Southeast Asia and South Asia, namely Thailand and the Maldives so that they have the chance of using their language skills as well as learning other Southeast Asian languages.
Starting from 2015, English Department of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages has collaborated with Centara Hotels & Resorts Group, Thailand, allowing students from Wenzao to do internship overseas. The internship collaboration was established by the faculty members of English Department without any help of industrial HR agents. This collaboration between Wenzao and Centara is the only internship collaboration project that the Centara Hotels & Resorts group has had in Taiwan. In other words, English Department of Wenzao is its only overseas internship collaboration partner in Taiwan.
The significance of Wenzao-Centara overseas internship collaboration lies in the following three points:
1)Cross-culturally: Students from Taiwan doing overseas internship in Thailand and even in the Maldives have experienced the culture of both countries, in particular, the local festivals and the food culture, and even the delicate interpersonal interactions which are very different from country to country. Over the past 5 years since the inception of this international internship collaboration in 2015, the students from various classes have had rich cultural experience of Songkron Festival (the Thai new year), Christmas and New Year holidays when a great number of international tourists flock to Thailand for holiday. The student interns experience the culture at the nexus of local meeting international. Moreover, they are the living epitome of Taiwanese culture, serving as unofficial youth ambassadors of friendship for Taiwan. During their 6-month long internship in Thailand, the immersion in a multicultural environment certainly helps students with enhancing their understanding of multiculturalism.
2)Professionally: the student interns are truly examples of Slashie. They are language majors initially. With the overseas internship experience, their cross-professional competence has been improved. For this collaboration, the positions offered to the student interns include the Front Office department, the Food and Beverage department, the Sales and Marketing department, and the Spa department (not as massagers but as receptionists doing scheduling and up-sailing for the Spa department). In fact, our students have set an unprecedentedly high sales record for the Spa department of a Centara resort in the Maldives. Even though students are language majors, they are able to cross industrial boundaries thanks to the overseas internship collaboration with Centara Group.
3)Linguistically: the student interns are English majors with a second foreign language background in either Japanese, Spanish, French, German or Korean. Being situated in the environment of the hospitality and hotel industry in Thailand which is one of the top international arrivals globally, the students have valuable experience to enhance their multilingual competence. In the era of globalization, varieties of English are not only American English and British English. That is why the term ‘World Englishes’ is coined and accepted by the academia. The students from English Department of Wenzao are enabled to use the languages they have learned in authentic, professional settings. Moreover, they have learned Thai in their daily interaction with their colleagues and the guests. In a nutshell, the students have an experience of situating in the authentic workplace for practicing the languages they have learned, not to mention learning new languages such as Thai and the Maldivian language. Language is about communications. Therefore, the students’ linguistic experience helps enhance their communication competence.