Ciao Rimini – Prof Saayman teaches in Italy Reply

With the exams going on campus we are also changing up the blog posts from this week onwards. We start with a travel and teaching report from Prof Andrea Saayman:

The students in Rimini

Every now and then all lecturers and professors are glad that they remain in the teaching and research profession.  There are a number of gratifying moments in the university environment and most of it has to do with living your passion (some others include when students you never thought would pass, actually do so!).  Talking about my research passion is such a moment for me and therefore I’m grateful for the chance to present lectures as part of the International Masters degree in Tourism Economics and Management at the University of Bologna in Rimini.  In my normal lectures, I seldom get the chance to tell students about the research I do and therefore I thoroughly enjoy the lectures in Rimini. (A special thanks to Prof. Paolo Figini who invited me.)

Being an international course, the language of instruction is English, which suits me since my Italian is barely sufficient to order a meal at the local pizzeria!  This year the class has about 40 students, of which approximately half is not Italian.  The students come from everywhere – China, Egypt, Moldova, Montenegro, Pakistan, Jordan – which creates a real cosmopolitan ambiance in the classroom.  The most difficult part for me is to find the right balance between economic theory and application, since the students come from varying undergraduate backgrounds.  I’m afraid that my explanation of some basic economic concepts might bore some to death, while for others I am flying too quickly over these concepts.

Covering topics including the economic impact of tourism on the macro-economy, tourism demand modelling, the relationship between tourism and trade, and tourism and sustainable development, the lectures cover a vast range of work.  I am amazed that all the students attend the lectures every day and I’m really going to miss their friendly faces.  Hopefully some of them will consider coming to South Africa for their research!

Rimini offers a bit of everything and I can see why it is a popular Italian holiday resort.  The long stretch of beach, the harbour, the old town, Roman bridge and restored fisherman’s village all contribute to the charm of the town.  Whether it is jogging along the esplanade, sipping Aperol Spritz at a bar, browsing through designer stores, eating pasta/pizza or drinking espresso at your favourite Café, here is something for everyone.  With the course instructed in English and bursaries available for international students, it is definitely something worth looking into if you are a prospective student!

Reporting from Rimini (with piada in the one hand and Aperol Spritz in the other)!

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Prof Saayman

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