Students on the Foundation Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management at South West College spent two weeks on a development programme in the Caribbean island of Aruba recently as part of an Erasmus+ funded project.

Aruba is small 193 km2 island located in the southern Caribbean Sea, home to 103,000 people welcoming close to 2 million visitors each year. Aruba’s economic growth relies heavily on tourism activity and the sector accounts for 90% of the islands GDP and over 80% of total employment. South West College is partnered with EPI Colegio which has 1,800 full-time students studying subjects including tourism, hospitality, health and social care, business, science and technology.

During the two week programme, students from South West College took part in a series of classes studying law, accounting and hospitality management, alongside local students. The first week culminated in the students taking part in a course certified by the Aruba Excellence Foundation, creating awareness of the local tourism product and highlighting the importance of service quality within the local hospitality industry.

Reflecting on the visit, Damian James, Deputy Head of School for Business Management and Specialist Education said;

‘The visit to Aruba is a wonderful learning experience for South West College students. The trip gives them an unrivalled opportunity of working with international peers and meeting key industry figures in the Caribbean where tourism plays a huge part in the economic growth and development of the region.

Students were able to meet the management teams from some of the island’s largest and most prestigious hotels including the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and The Ritz-Carlton Aruba and this visit as a compliment to their studies will undoubtedly prepare them for careers in the local and international hospitality and tourism sectors.’

For further information on the Tourism and Hospitality Management courses available at South West College please visit

Tourism and Hospitality