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By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

24 hours until departure!

 Today marks the end of my journey in China. It’s a bittersweet moment. I miss home, but I also know I’ll miss it here when I leave too. China was a great experience. I was able to live in a country halfway across the world, interact and meet new people, and grow as a person. This was my first time being so far away from home especially for an extended period of time. China pushed me out of my comfort zone (in a good way) I was able to fully immerse myself in a new culture. The people here are so kind and welcoming they are quick to help you with any questions you may have. 


As a group trip, we all went to the Tianjin Great Wall. It was a HIKE; I didn’t expect it to be so much of a workout lol. Definitely wear shorts and bring water (it took about two hours). It was really cool though when you get towards the top you can see the difference between the original Great Wall and the rebuilt version they had to do over the years. We also had a tour guide who was able to inform us of all the history that took part during construction.  

Great Wall

Also, I was able to go to the Beijing Zoo it was one of the places on my list to visit. It was super cheap with our student cards (student discounts are everywhere), and they had a ridiculous amount of animals not just from China but all over the world. I mainly went to see the pandas. It was the highlight of my trip. After the zoo, we went to go to the Pearl Market, a place where you can get anything from electronics to souvenirs; bargaining with the sellers can get you some really good prices for stuff. I was able to get a load of things for my family and finish off my gift list. 

Giant panda
Giant panda

Now in the last 24 hours I have in China I’m packing and looking forward to our last family dinner we have planned for tonight 🙁 

MJ doggy chips
Hey Tea

Goodbye Tianjin

Hello Florida (again) 

Study abroad group spring 2019

Dubai, I miss you !

By Dubai

I am still in jet lag, this trip does not want to end in my head. This was my first study abroad and has been an amazing experience where I got to meet classmates whom I have never seen before, staff that is energetic and knowledgeable, and an amazing tour guide who has stolen my heart away from me.

Dubai has been an unforgettable experience where I wish I could stay for a very long time. Learning from it’s culture and people has got me looking at the world in a very different way.

Being able to be behind the scenes of Atlantis and Burj al Arab was very impacting to me due to my field of study and work. I was over amazed by the customer service and staff in each hotel. Although both hotels are for different occasions, both meet the purpose of satisfying their guests with a final outcome, which is creating a loyal and more than satisfied member. Burj al Arab was a very short visit but being able to step into a suite was more than enough. It made me want to learn more about taking care of rooms like these and what it takes to service a perfect room with such perfect scores. And from Atlantis? Well, Stephanie was very persuasive regarding the work she does and how happy she is with the decision of going to the other side of the world and working for such an amazing hotel. Where can I apply?

Byblos, was a great example for me to what a hotel should not be at any given moment. It is not only about looking pretty in the outside, it is being able to deliver customer service past the short skirts of their employees and the “At Byblos we do not make mistakes and guests check out as friends.” In the future when I get to host a visit in my hotel, I will definitely make sure that everyone is being taken care of and actually speak around the room. It is not enough just being the son of the owner, it is actually about making connections and selling your brand!

Customer service in Dubai had me blown away, and that is something that I will definitely apply in my professional work ethic and make sure my team is providing the output services. At the end of the day, we are here to accommodate them as best and as professional as possible.

Thank you Dubai for teaching me so many great things everyday; my heart is set on you and I will come back one day. IMG_2913IMG_1967

Mid-trip Blog Post: Dubai

By Dubai

Hi readers!

Today is December 17th, 2015, its my third day in Dubai and so far it has been nothing but an amazing time. I am honestly so glad I made the choice in attending this study abroad trip because I have gained so much knowledge, made so many wonderful memories, and experienced so many new things I have never experienced before.

Although all of the educational visits have been wonderful, so far my favorite educational site visit would have to be the Nakheel presentation the Nakheel Sales Centre.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.06.25 AM

I really enjoyed this presentation because I was truly amazed to see how far Dubai has progressed and developed within the recent decades from a desolate desert to one of the world’s fastest growing tourism cities. All of the future projects that are currently under construction for the World Expo 2020 Dubai are absolutely mind-blowing. I was honestly in shock through out the whole presentation because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Dubai is planning to expand and improve their city in so many different aspects when it is already a wonderful tourist destination! Learning about Dubai’s history’s and near future was an awesome and interesting experience and I was really engaged throughout the presentation.

Just like the educational site visits, the attractions at Dubai have been fantastic as well. My favorite attraction so far however has been the tour at the Atlantis Hotel in Palm IslandScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.04.06 AMIt has always been my dream to vacation at an Atlantis Hotel, and although we didn’t stay at the Atlantis property, today on our tour, it sure felt as if I got the whole experience. Not only was the tour very informational and detailed, but it was great to know that all three tour guides were FIU Alumni. It was awesome to see people who used to study the same courses as me, at the same university, live their dream jobs. My favorite part about the tour was the Royal Bridge Suite, which I never even knew existed. We were able to observe the rooms and step out on the balcony, which had the most gorgeous view of Palm Island. Afterwards we had an informational meeting about Kerzner, which was also very enriching. The tour of Atlantis was my favorite attraction on the trip so far, and it made me feel secure that I picked the right university for my career because I saw how successful the FIU Alumni employees are with their career.

I cannot wait for the remainder of the trip! Dubai has really been a life-changing experience so far 🙂

Day 6 in London :D

By London

Today is the sixth day in London and the earliest we have had to be up during the trip. The day started with breakfast at 7:30 am right before we had to board the coach at 7:50 am to head to the Gatwick Airport.

On the ride over to the Hilton at Gatwick Airport, the sun was rising and almost everyone on the bus took advantage of this time to go to sleep, since it was an hour and a half ride to get there. In the meantime, I was wide awake and taking pictures of Andrea, watching professor Kitterlin take pictures of Dawn sleeping as well, and enjoying the view over. Once we got to the Hilton, we immediately walked in and Mr. Jeremy Taylor greeted us and walked us over to the room. On our seats, we had a magazine that is published by the company and a little plane.

Jeremy Taylor (Chief Executive of Gatwick Diamond Business) and Guy Hilton (Hilton Hotel), the presenters, gave us background information of their companies.  One of the things I found most beneficial was that throughout his presentation, Mr. Taylor kept mentioning how important it is to stand out from others and to take responsibility for your actions. After the presentations, we had a brief 20–minute back of the house tour. My group started by going to the ballrooms that they reserve when flights are delayed and have guests waiting there. Then, we headed over to the kitchen and met the Executive Chef, Andy, and from there we walked over to the elevator to the fourth floor to see two rooms. The first room we saw had three beds and up to six people could easily fit. The second room we saw was a much smaller room for one person. One thing that really caught my attention was the bathroom. It was super nice and had a shower and a bath 😮 !

At the end of the tour, we went back to the room we were in and had a brief discussion and Q &A section. The way we ended the trip at the Hilton was by visiting the south terminal of Gatwick Airport and getting an idea of what it looks like.

Around 12 pm, we were on the bus headed to the British Museum. On our way, we passed a bridge and it had the most beautiful view. I could see Big Ben, the London Eye, etc. Before we went to the British Museum, we had time to go get a quick snack.  I went to get a Croissant stuffed with chocolate and a Coke. At 1:50, we met inside the museum and the tour guide was there and guided us through the museum.

Once we were done with the museum, we headed over to dinner at Roti Chai. I’ve never tried Indian food, but I’m so happy I did because it was delicious. Today was an extremely long day and I can’t wait to go to sleep and have more adventures tomorrow! 🙂

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