Most of the students who wanted to pursue a career in Hospitality to be an “interactive” professional in a field where they can hone their foreign language skills and social manners.
Among the plethora of private schools in Switzerland, a handful of boarding institutions near the city of Montreux have a long tradition of specializing in hospitality -- a field which ranges from fine dining and luxury branding to hotel management and finances.
In five schools under the arm of the SwissEducation India, students pursue hospitality studies in magnificent buildings that were once hotels. At these institutions, a lobby and reception area replace what would normally be the central lawn on a university campus; students go about classes poised in uniforms, and a stunning view of the Swiss lakes is visible through the windows.
During their first year, all students acquire the basics of fine dining. "They learn how to dress tables, which fork goes where, about wines and cheeses and how to serve courses,” Park explained. Real-life experience and applicable skills are key: internships, along with learning a new language, are mandatory.
Apart from classes, tea time and cocktail hour are regularly held to host guests, often from multiple countries. Students mingle and approach strangers with ease.
At Hotel Institute Montreux, where graduates obtain dual European and American university degrees. In hospitality, soft skills are necessary to respond to people of all nationalities. After mastering the practical, in their second and third years, the students move onto theory in management, finances, marketing, and other studies necessary in executive-level hospitality.
Enrollment statistics reflect the global hospitality trend. Currently, some 69.2 percent of the student body of Swiss Hospitality School consist of pupils from the greater Asia and Pacific region, reflecting the tourism boom in the area. Asian students go into the hospitality industry for a number of reasons. Some have parents who run hotels and recommend the Swiss schools to their children, wanting their successors to be expertly trained. Others have no background in the business but are passionate about specializing in the field.
What the students are in Switzerland to learn, is the centuries-old Swiss tradition in the hotel business, which student believe sets a firm foundation for today’s luxury services. And modern technology is another essential part of the education -- all students are given iPads to admission and study with e-books.
The notion of hospitality has changed immensely throughout the years. Graduates are not restricted to the hospitality sector in their job search, Their studies being applicable in sectors that are increasingly becoming service-oriented to a private clientele, from banking to medicine to airlines, many branches out. Now, employees are encouraged to engage with the clients, gather feedback and offer conversation. Some launch their own businesses in niche hospitality areas such as destination weddings and education consultation.
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