Travel and tourism is a booming industry worldwide, and the number of international tourists has more than doubled since 2000; the World Tourism Organization estimates that 1.8 billion tourists will travel outside of their country of residence by 2030. As the number of international travellers grows, so does the demand for evolving services and experiences, giving rise to new career prospects for young hoteliers, who must have the right skills and outlook to seize such opportunities.
Les Roches Global Hospitality Education is committed to offering industry-relevant programmes that provide students with the knowledge and skills for professional success. The institution's Swiss-educational model combines management theory with hospitality operations and professional internships, in order to provide students with practical experience and a strategic mindset.
Drawing students from over 100 countries, Les Roches offers a diverse and multicultural campus environment. The institute encourages students to expand their international experience, and each programme provides opportunities for students to further develop their global outlook. As of September 2018, undergraduate students can study abroad at Les Roches campuses or partner institutions that are based in Switzerland, Spain, the US and China, as well as the UK. With opportunities to study abroad and two compulsory internship semesters, Les Roches students may live and work in up to five countries throughout the course of their studies.
Graduate programmes at Les Roches include trips to dynamic centres of finance and tourism. Students pursuing the postgraduate diploma in international hospitality management travel to Dubai, while MBA students go to Chicago and Shanghai as part of their degree. These trips are a unique opportunity for students, which allows them to gain cultural insights, visit innovative businesses and engage with hospitality leaders.
Practical learning and problem-solving are essential for learners to prepare for real-world challenges. At Les Roches, undergraduate students focus on the practical arts during their first semester, gaining knowledge and experience in kitchen, service and rooms division roles. Graduate students that do not have a background in hospitality develop hands-on operational skills through the school's intensive hospitality immersion programme. This practical approach ensures that students not only gain expertise in industry standards, but also develop crucial skills such as leadership and communication. Professional experience is also a cornerstone of Les Roches' programmes. Through internships and business consultancy projects, students have the opportunity to apply their learning in a professional environment and grow their industry network. Undergraduate students complete two six-month internships as part of their degree, and postgraduate diploma students complete one internship. Students on the MBA programme carry out consultancy projects with leading hospitality companies, where they research and present innovative solutions to real business problems.
By blending the practical arts, academic learning and professional experiences together, Les Roches' programmes prepare graduates to be leaders and lifelong learners. The school's 12,000 alumni across the globe - many of whom are industry leaders and entrepreneurs - are a testament to the success of this unique approach to learning. Dr Nicolas Graf, chief academic officer, explains, "Our curricula have been designed to nurture an entrepreneurial spirit, a global mindset and innovative approaches. We believe that growing these qualities will best prepare students to unleash their potential and fasttrack their careers."