October 2021

SWITZERLAND Push your academic experience to new heights When people think of Switzerland they normally think of chocolate, cheese, and skiing. But it is also known for its excellent tourism and hospitality business management degrees. BY LEANDA AT MAIALEARNING The QS World Rankings puts eight of the top ten hospitality courses in Switzerland. This is partly due to the fact that people were long drawn to climbing the Swiss Alps or staying in the healthy fresh air. The Grand Tour itinerary in the 1700 and 1800s included Switzerland, and then famous people like Queen Victoria, who stayed in Lucerne in 1868, put Switzerland on the map for mass tourism. But you may be wondering why so many students still want to study hospitality management courses after all that we’ve seen with Covid. The answer is the solid business and customer service skills these degrees teach. Because running a hotel requires strong business knowledge and skill, these courses are business management courses applied through the lens of hospitality. In one of these courses you will study financial management, accounting, people management, marketing, economics, legal awareness, leadership, and many other subjects required to succeed in business. The skills learned in a hospitality business course are transferable to many different careers. This is why students who study these degrees don’t only go on to work in hospitality. In addition to having great careers in hotel operations, they also go to work in companies who are looking for employees with strong people skills and strong business skills.. Many course graduates go on to work in luxury brand marketing, retail, private banking, account management, and human resources. If you are looking for a business course, and like the idea of mixing it with a practical and applied approach, then you should consider a hospitality management course. Tips from a student studying Hospitality Business Management in Switzerland: • My move to Switzerland was smooth. Although it is a long, 16-hour journey door to door, the flight times work out very well and the flights are usually on time! • Be sure to pack for all four seasons. There is quite a range of temperatures. • Learn to cook! Restaurants in Switzerland are expensive for a student. Cooking will save you a lot and take you a long way. In fact, large dinners with friends is what a lot of students do for fun. • Take in the scenery around you. The Swiss countryside and mountains are stunning, so go on hikes and trails. Switzerland also has trains, funiculars, gondolas and cable cars to travel through the Alps. • Take advantage of being in the middle of Europe! You can travel so easily on direct trains to cities such as Paris, Milan, Munich, or Vienna. Most countries are within a 2-hour flight. • If you use public transport a lot, buy a half price card. Although it isn’t cheap, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. • Brush up on your French, Italian, or German. A little goes a long way! While the language barrier may prove difficult sometimes, there is always a way around. • Note: shops are closed on Sundays. Coming from Asia, I was shocked that a majority of supermarkets, stores and restaurants were closed on Sunday, which means you need to plan ahead. Running out of something on a Sunday is annoying! • It is important to dress well and to be on time. There is often a dress code in these Business Hospitality courses. I appreciate that everyone looks sharp and well presented. This is good in any industry.