Students in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) at the High School for Enterprise Business and Technology (EBT), 850 Grand Street, are certainly not getting your typical high school education.
The students – Fanny Tavera, Marilyn Taveras, Rachelle St. Pierre, Christopher Perez, Devika Paul, Mark Sanders, Stephanie Marte, Maytee Rosales and Victoria Garcia – have just returned from a trip to The Hague, Netherlands, billed as “Brooklyn in Den Haag 111,” and have come to understand why the hospitality and tourism industries are the career of choice for many college graduates these days.
Three members of the EBT faculty along with students from the EBT Model United Nations Team and the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism made the trip, the focus of which was to help the students develop a broader perspective and knowledge of international travel and tourism.
“Our students not only get a general education but they learn about the hospitality and tourism industries at the same time,” said Regina Flannery, director of the New York AOHT program.
“Part of our focus in making this education relevant is having the students interact in the real world of hospitality. That’s why internships and job shadowing events are such a large part of our program. These international trips show our students the importance of the hospitality industry in not just this country but the world.”
According to Juan Mendez, principal of EBT, the experience of traveling to a foreign country is something that many of the students have never experienced before. “For most of them it was their first time leaving the country. They were fascinated with Europe and how the hotels were operated there.”
Some of the students are even considering applying to a college they visited in the Netherlands with a strong hospitality program.
“It was something we didn’t expect,” said Yvette Wharton, assistant principal of the school. “But it just shows how exposing students to new things expands their horizons.”
The AOHT students explored many aspects of the city in their trip by taking tours of major hotels, museum excursions and visits to cultural sites.
Through interaction with the students at the Mondrian College of International Tourism & Leisure Management, the AOHT students were able to share insights and exchange ideas relevant to the hospitality and tourism industries.
Students for the trip were chosen based on their overall academic credentials.