A recreation management major, Banna Bazzarie found an internship overseas within the tourism industry of Jordan.
Banna Bazzarie is majoring in recreation management with a concentration in commercial tourism, a degree program at Appalachian State University that requires an internship. She choose to intern overseas in Jordan during summer 2016.
“I’m half Jordanian. My mom is from there, so I wanted to go back,” said Bazzarie of Raleigh, North Carolina, who transferred to Appalachian from Wake Technical Community College.
Bazzarie contacted Jordan Inbound Tour Operators (JITO) in Amman, Jordan, a parent company that scopes out tourism opportunities for smaller tourism operations in that area. Jordan is well known for its hospitality and tourism, offering visitors a range of natural environments to explore – from deserts and mountains, to wetlands, coastal reefs and large cities.
She was one of eight Appalachian students to receive a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Institute of International Education (IIE) in 2016, which helped defray costs of her overseas opportunity.
While most tours in Jordan include the Dead Sea and Petra archeological site, Bazzarie said her internship allowed her to help create expeditions off the beaten path.
“There are a lot of undiscovered treasures there or places that they wouldn’t really think to include in a tour package. We would take tour companies on these trips so they would have firsthand experience so they know what they’re offering to their customers,” she said.
Eager to share with classmates her knowledge of Jordan’s treasures, Bazzarie proposed a short-term study abroad program after she returned to campus. She completed paperwork and other requirements to initiate a three-credit, faculty-led program with assistance from Dr. Melissa Weddell, an associate professor in the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education in the Beaver College of Health Sciences.
“Banna worked very hard to create this trip for students to see a different world,” said Weddell, who will lead the program.
The trip will likely take place in 2018. It is described as “using a comparative government, economic and recreation/tourism industry approach” to “expose students to problems related to recreation resource and tourism development in a country located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe.”