Do you love travelling and experiencing new places? Do you enjoy working with people? Want to cultivate leadership skills and be flexible in your future career? If the answer to any or all of these questions is ‘yes’ then a hospitality degree may be perfect for you.
A hospitality management degree is your key to potentially grow into a range of high-level positions for a successful career, because it’s the kind of education that cultivates soft skills – like leadership, people skills, teamwork, and organisation – that give you flexibility in all sorts of job scopes, whether it’s running an exotic remote resort, starting a tech company or planning a global event. Then there’s the hard skills, like business knowledge, that are crucial to running any organisation.
There’s no place better to get a hospitality degree than EHL (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne) – not only is it the first hospitality school in the world, with over 125 years of history, it’s ranked the #1 hospitality management university according to QS World University Rankings worldwide, from 2019-2020. Obviously, this makes having EHL on your resume a bonus – over 90% of career-seeking graduates find employment a year after graduation and a large majority of alumni are in a senior management position or higher role. Many EHL graduates also go on to start businesses in new, fast-growing areas of the hospitality arena and other industries.
In addition to its original campuses at Lausanne and Passugg in Switzerland, it has also recently opened its first Asia-based campus in Singapore.
Getting to know EHL from the comfort of home on March 6
Obviously COVID-19 has affected student life in schools all over the world, and one of the best ways to understand what the current situation at EHL is to hear directly from students who can relay their lived experiences while currently studying there.
Prospective students can join in EHL’s Digital Open Day, where you’ll get to know more about their BSc in International Hospitality Management programme. In addition to an immersive live tour of the new Singapore campus, you’ll also hear from current students via the livestream about their student life.
The best way to make the most of your attendance is to prepare a list of what you want to know, what you want to get out of the tour, and any questions you may wish to ask, since their admissions team and student ambassadors will be available to answer your questions through live chats.
Why Hospitality Management at EHL?
Over the years, the hospitality industry has transformed and adapted, fueled by new consumers from emerging and developed markets with growing disposable incomes. They’re also spending less on material goods, and more on recreation, eating out, and experiences. EHL has been with the industry through every step of this evolution, including harnessing the digital technology that’s changing the way we choose, buy, and share our experiences these days.
EHL’s BSc in International Hospitality Management is structured in such a way that students not only gain in-depth knowledge on the hospitality industry, but also develop soft skills that are essential for success and easily applied to any industry. This is done through hands-on classes, two 6-month internships, real-world case studies, and also the opportunity for would-be entrepreneurs to incubate their own businesses all while pursuing their studies.
The heart of EHL’s curriculum is experiential learning, which is deeply ingrained in the Swiss education system. In today’s world, it’s all about continually upgrading skills to meet the ever-evolving needs of the day, and experiential learning provides EHL students with hands-on skills relevant for tomorrow’s workplace, not yesterday’s. This is thanks to the quality of their links to industry – EHL is in continual contact with employers, and their faculty reviews and adapts the curriculum twice a year to ensure their teaching meets ever-changing needs of students and employers.
Today, twenty years after EHL began its Student Business Projects (SBPs) where students are tasked with delivering work on real-life cases – which is the heart of their experiential learning system – students are regularly hired by the clients for which they have provided this service.
Lena Chan, a Year 2 student from Vietnam, “was drawn to the academic structure EHL provides – being able to study, then apply for internships immediately after”. In addition, EHL currently has students from more than 120 nationalities enrolled, with 86% of students speaking three languages or more, making it a truly world-class environment for anyone interested in world culture.
“I chose EHL not only because of its unique curriculum composed of both theoretical learning and industry exposure through internships, but also because of its multi-cultural environment and strong alumni network,” says Stefano Abedum de Lima, a Year 4 student from Japan.
In fact, graduates will have the support of EHL’s alumni network, one of the largest and most active professional networks in the world of hospitality, numbering over 30,000 and counting. “I believe the strong reputation and extensive network of EHL will help me gain the knowledge and connections to succeed in this field,” says Singaporean Kimberly Yoong, a recent graduate.
What you can expect from the Digital Open Day
Learn about the BSc programme
The 4-year BSc in International Hospitality Management is uniquely structured, offering 2 specialised pathways: academic and professional. During the Digital Open Day, you can find out more about how they both cover everything from operations to key management tools, business strategy, and planning – basically teaching you how to run a hospitality business from the ground up, but in very different styles.
The popular academic pathway is split between EHL’s campuses in Switzerland and Singapore. Students based in the Singapore Campus will take their first semester in Lausanne before finishing their remaining 3 years in Singapore, while those based in the Lausanne Campus will take all 4 years in Lausanne with opportunities to do an exchange in Passugg or Singapore. Regardless of which campus they’re based in, students will be bouncing worldwide on internships for two semesters. This academic pathway is ideal for those who thrive in a dynamic university environment with group assignments and internships.
The professional pathway, on the other hand, suits those seeking a deeper physical immersion and are passionate about the culinary arts, communication, and hotel management. Students will learn at the hotel-resort setting at Passugg before finishing their final semester at the Lausanne campus.
Introducing the Singapore campus
EHL’s latest campus in Singapore is located on Lady Hill Road in the leafy Tanglin area. Once a boarding school for children of British soldiers, the former Kinloss House has been restored to its former classic beauty, making it a perfect environment to facilitate learning.
Go on an immersive virtual and live tour of the campus, and see its facilities first-hand which include classrooms, meeting rooms, multi-purpose hall, and numerous break out spaces. With flexibility to accommodate modern learning formats, it’s also close to the Orchard area for convenience.
Hear from current students
Given the international COVID-19 situation, questions regarding the course structure are probably first and foremost in most peoples’ minds. This is why hearing from students currently studying at EHL would give you a better idea of the situation, especially about studying abroad and the overseas internship experiences.
For some, like Year 3 student Tiantian Xiao from China who’s just completed her 5th semester which is taught in the hybrid mode, travel plans haven’t changed. “Now I am going to start my 6-month administrative internship at Swissnex X EHL APAC Marketing Office,” she says.
Like many universities around the world, many classes have been adapted to be in Hyflex format (hybrid and flexible). Students can follow the same classes online that are happening in-person in classrooms via (Microsoft) Teams. For Ritvik Bajaj, a Year 2 student from India, “usually half the class is at home and the other half is in the classroom”.
“The student-teacher interaction still remains at a high quality just like for in-person classes,” according to Zhiyi Wang, Year 2 student from China. “Some teachers really try to engage students by encouraging the ‘raise hand’ feature, compulsory videos, asking questions, and I think it’s really helpful because online classes make you prone to distractions. They incorporate games as well, like Kahoot and Menti,” according to Lena.
For many students, the adaptation was swift and easier than they expected. “While it was difficult initially, as we became more comfortable with online classes, the interaction became more seamless,” says Kimberly. “We managed to make it work and I think ironically, I was also grateful for the flexibility that came with the online mode of classes.”
Introducing the EHL Junior Academy
There’ll also be a presentation of the EHL Junior Academy, which is specially for those between 14 to 18 years of age. This short summer course allows you to dip your toes in the business of hospitality, and is a transformative experience where you’ll acquire a strong foundation of business knowledge and a useful set of soft skills for future academic and professional success. The course comprises interactive workshops and fun activities to help you develop knowledge and skills around Business & Innovation, the Culinary Arts, International Hospitality, and Luxury Brand Management.
The course takes place over five days on-site at the Singapore campus, with two sessions: 12 July to 16 July and 23 August to 27 August. It’s a great opportunity to develop a strong foundation of business knowledge along with leadership skills through group projects and real-world case studies. There’s also the EHL Digital Academy, which is fully conducted online, and catered to those interested in discovering the latest technological trends and developing greater digital-savviness in their online interactions.
The flexibility of an EHL hospitality degree
“The fact that EHL focuses on hospitality and people management means we are present in almost all industries,” Lena says. Tiantian, who is interested in working in the education industry after graduation, also agrees that EHL graduates have diverse career options.
The statement is echoed by Kimberly, who’s currently working in hotel real estate and consulting with a focus on the Central and Eastern and South-Eastern Europe region, and says “One important thing that I’ve discovered throughout my hospitality journey over the last years is that this industry goes far beyond just hotel operations or working in the corporate office of a hotel company – the possibilities are endless.”
Register for more information
If you’re interested to learn more about how a hospitality degree from EHL can help you reach your career goals, check out their Digital Open Day on March 6 from 3-7pm, and you can register to attend here.