Discovering Hospitality on Your Doorstep

Montreux has many iconic associations and Switzerland’s love affair with hospitality has contributed to the appeal of the region over the years. Queen were based here, Deep Purple wrote Smoke on the Water after the Casino caught fire and the Montreux Jazz Festival has been running for over 50 years.
For high school students however, hospitality is not always an obvious choice, as it can be misperceived as a rather narrow field of study. On the contrary, it offers a global career and a wide variety of transferable skills. To demystify pre-conceived notions, Swiss Education Academy, a branch of Swiss Education Group, has teamed up with Hotel Institute Montreux (another member school) to offer 16 to 20-year-olds the chance to spend two weeks on campus over the summer months. High school students can attend classes, visit local attractions and luxury hotels, all while learning more about the industry and the life of a hospitality student. The two weeks are capped off with a student-run banquet to showcase their newly acquired knowledge.
A recent attendee of this summer camp is Mathilde, a current student at Collège du Léman. She won her place as part of a high school Instagram competition, wearing her best “hospitality” outfit and explaining why she thought hospitality was important. While Mathilde knew she was interested in business, and studying in an English-speaking environment, she explains, “It’s really important to understand what hospitality offers, because before this I didn’t. I had always thought of hospitality as just hotels and I thought it would close too many doors. I already attend an international school, but this was more diverse, with so many cultures and nationalities. The Sales and Marketing classes were amazing and the teachers were fantastic!”
Hotel Institute Montreux offers the perfect location to host this introduction to hospitality. Partnered with the American institution Northwood University, a private university based in Michigan, students benefit from an original offering – study for an American Business degree in the heart of Switzerland, all while learning the hospitality skills that are so revered, in the birthplace of hospitality. To supplement this, the school has forged strong relationships with local industry, to offer students a chance to truly integrate into local life. Annual fundraising campaigns, such as Freddie For A Day, based on the legendary mustached singer, has helped raise over 223,000 CHF for Queen’s charity over the last few years to increase awareness about HIV and Aids.
Important professional partnerships lend strength and support to the variety of specialisations the school offers to both its Bachelor and Master students. Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild endorses the finance specialisation and the Human Resources specialisation is in partnership with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, one of the largest hotel chains in the world and experts in personnel management.  The Luxury Marketing and Business Management specialisation is supported by three separate heavyweights, Montreux Jazz Festival, John Paul and Hublot, the luxury watchmakers and the creators of Usain Bolt’s most recent favourite timepiece.
With over 50 nationalities attending Swiss Education Academy’s hospitality summer camp (Swiss Hospitality Club), the short course provide a perfect opportunity to learn more about hospitality before committing to a longer programme.
For more information, please contact: Rebecca Mars

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