Mount Saint Vincent University alumnae Maria McDougall wasted no time after graduating with distinction in May 2008. Her degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management with a concentration in Tourism Development and her love for travel have led her to the Australian city of Brisbane.

“I grew up in Donaldson, P.E.I., and although I decided not to journey too far to obtain my bachelor degree, I learned everything there is to know about travel and tourism during my time at the Mount,” says McDougall. “Now that I have a great background in this sector, heading abroad to gain first-hand experience about the tourism industry seemed like the right thing to do.”

Her decision to voyage to Australia couldn’t have been better. As one of 51,000 international students, McDougall has made a name for herself in the Brisbane community. In addition to completing her Masters of International Tourism Management at James Cook University, McDougall was appointed one of 21 official Brisbane Student Ambassadors on July 15.

“Out of the thousands of international students in the city, it’s such an honour to have been chosen as an ambassador,” states McDougall. “I’m eager to show Canadians how great a city Brisbane is by documenting my trip online. Most importantly, I want people to know that it’s okay to take a risk and travel abroad; voyaging to the other side of the world has made me a much stronger and more informed person.”

Coming from Canada, McDougall admits that the biggest perk of living in Brisbane is the weather. “It’s always sunny, and even when the locals are bundled for winter, I can’t help but sport my summer dresses,” says McDougall.

Although McDougall’s anticipated graduation date from James Cook University is November 2010, her curious mind and passion for exploration are sure to lead her to other culturally diverse parts of the world. “I’d love to fill each chapter of my life with a new destination,” states McDougall.

Upon completion of her studies, she hopes to obtain a position with a destination management organization. “I’m very interested in destination competitiveness and long term planning,” says McDougall. “The world is a fascinating place, so the possibilities for the location of this ideal job are endless. I just need to keep taking the right risks.”


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For more information contact:
Akiko Lovett
t. 457-6439
c. 441-0505