Education in Switzerland:
What is the reason behind the success of studying hotel and tourism management in Switzerland and why their hospitality schools are rated as some of the best in the world? For more than a century, hotel management schools in Switzerland have trained many of the big-wigs of the hospitality industry.
Background of excellence in Swiss Hospitality:
About a hundred and fifty years ago, a chain of palace-styled hotels were established across Montreux Riviera. Many consider this as the initiation of Switzerland’s glorious age of luxury tourism. Members of the royal families, aristocrats and the so-called millionaires of those times, travelled to these hotels from across the continent.
The primary lure to Montreux Riviera region in Switzerland was its pollution free environment and the attraction of the Alpine adventure. High profile guests, even in those times, demanded top-notch lavishness and premium service that they were generally used in their homes. This brought about a natural shift amidst hoteliers and they now had to rethink strategies in order to gain customer satisfaction along with a tangible return on their investment. Thus, to be able meet expectations of their high-profile guests, they started a restructuring process that helped regulate the hotel management styles along with bringing about a positive change on the operational mechanisms.
Thus, Swiss hospitality management was born.
The Principles of a Swiss Hospitality Management course:
The Swiss bring in their unique distinctiveness that characterizes their take on hospitality, tourism and hotel management and makes it a class apart. Some of the principles that are considered as the foundation of hospitality, tourism and hotel management in Switzerland are:
- Respecting the customer
- Their precision and concentration on the minutest of details
- Meticulous presentation at all times
- Emphasis on discretion
- Being reliable and loyal
- Attention to skills, training and being professional
- A constant mechanism to improve and modernise
So how does the hospitality education in Switzerland foster and develop these principles in prospective international students?
Experiential learning is their basic model of hospitality education. Supporting this model is hands-on learning. Integrating these two models bring about the development of study programs that are now offered to international students from across the globe.
Benefits of a Swiss Hospitality Management degree for Indian Students:
International students from India who choose to study hospitality management in Switzerland attain and imbibe these principle skills via practical modules. The modules not only allow Indian students to access the hospitality institution’s in-built laboratories but are also provided with actual training on the job through a number of hospitality establishments which include specialisations in food and beverage, housekeeping, hotel management and even non-traditional domains such as spa and health management, luxury retail and event management.
Top Hotel Management Schools in Switzerland:
As per QS Rankings 2017, Switzerland is home to the top three hotel management schools in the world.
- Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
- Les Roches International School of Hotel Management
- SHMS - Swiss Hotel Management School
Other than these, there are 25 schools across Switzerland that offer a number of hospitality management programs.
Hotel School Curriculum in Switzerland:
Focusing on a wider range of business skills, hotel schools in Switzerland are largely putting their attention to training that can be applied in the hospitality and service sectors across industries. In order to cover the spectrum of courses that are now on offer, Swiss schools have now generalised themselves as “hospitality management schools” as the education that is currently being imparted involves traditional hospitality management programs along with specialist courses on general business administration too.
The focus of a typical Swiss hospitality management course has always been on practical training both in hotels and restaurants. Pairing this with courses in management, a typical Indian student in a hospitality management course in Switzerland will learn:
- Modules concentrating on industry standards of hotel operations in general
- Modules focusing on management of a number of operational divisions like Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Guest Services
- Modules centering on Industry Practices, Cost-Control, Revenue Management and Hospitality Marketing
- Due attention is also given on developing soft skills such as professional behaviour, team work, communication, organisation, decision-making and job prioritisation.
The next step involves transferring the knowledge gained to practical application. If one chooses to opt for a Hospitality Business Program, then it generally includes:
- Modules on managing Operations and Logistics, Staff Recruitment and Performance Appraisals, Finance and Revenue along with Hospitality Marketing and Public Relations.
- International students can also opt for specialisations and the popular ones amongst them are:
- Luxury Brand Management
- Sustainable Development in Tourism
Paid Internships for International Students:
Another core aspect of the Swiss hospitality management degree is the aspect of a paid internship that is offered to both domestic as well as international students. This requires the student to complete either one or two full-time internships whilst pursuing a bachelors program in hospitality. For Post-graduate programs, there is only one paid internship during the course which ranges between 4 – 6 months. Paid internships may be offered either in a hotel or a resort, at restaurants, or even cruise ships, at the tourism office or probably at an event management company.
The idea is to test the knowledge that the student has gained in the classroom environment in an international business establishment. These internships not only hone the student’s training and skills further, but are also the right platform where students can initiate building relationships and networks within the hospitality industry.
This is an ideal launch-pad that builds a budding hospitality student’s professional competencies.
Opportunities for Indian Students:
For those Indian students, a Swiss degree in hospitality management or tourism can lay the foundation of a hospitality business for many. For others, Switzerland is a strategically located study abroad destination with close proximity to exciting and vibrant cities like Paris, London, Milan and Munich. With the right networking in your chosen field of hospitality and tourism management from Switzerland, who are now qualified and equipped to work in any established hospitality business across these destinations.