International Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (IHTTI)By Asian Correspondent Mar 10, 2011 6:48PM UTC
The International Hotel and Tourism Training Institute has 25 years of experience bringing up the next generation of hotel managers and tourism executives. For students from Asia set on launching a career in international hospitality, it’s hard to find a more reputable institute at which to master the trade.
The school’s campus is cast in Neuchâtel, a charming university town with all the trappings of old-world Europe. This is in an area where hotel operators first started garnering international attention, and the region continues to set the standard in tourism and hospitality management. A hospitality career launched in Switzerland quickly takes on dynamic, international proportions.
In a very real sense, IHTTI is a one-stop institute for anyone with hospitality and tourism ambitions. The school’s three-year bachelor degree program delivers a mix of Swiss diplomas and certificates along with an internationally recognized degree. When this is completed, students can go on to seek a postgraduate diploma or an internationally accredited master’s degree. At this point, graduates are fully qualified for top-level positions in the world’s leading five-star hotels.
Classes are taught by leading academics and professionals with plenty of real-world experience in hospitality. English is the official language of the school, and classes are kept intentionally small so that students can glean significant one-to-one instruction from their professors. Finally, every year of study includes a substantial paid internship that provides much-needed funding and real industry experience.
But the most exciting aspect of an IHTTI education is its commitment to diversity. Students from Asia make up a significant portion of the student body, and their classmates represent a collage of world cultures. For students who need to build their English-language proficiency before entering the classroom, the school offers an English foundation program as a lead-in to the standard coursework.
Finally, with two and a half decades’ worth of graduates out there in the work force, students couldn’t ask for a stronger network. For the soon-to-graduate, competitive career placements are on the horizon.
World-renown Swiss hospitality
Switzerland’s reputation as a leader in hospitality goes back more than a century, when some of the world’s first hotels began opening schools to teach students to replicate their own successes. Today, a Swiss education in hospitality is still the standard to which others aspire.
It’s worth noting that IHTTI is 100 percent Swiss owned. Some hotel management schools establish ties to Swiss institutes in order to boost the profile of the programs they offer. But the coursework at IHTTI is Swiss to the core, which means students and their prospective employers know they’re getting the genuine article.
From an Asian perspective, there’s no better place to launch a career. The Swiss educational system is world-class, and the country’s dedication to international relations has fostered one of the world’s most prosperous and diverse social scenes. Students from overseas are in good company here.
And with the burgeoning success of tourism in cities all over Asia, this is an opportune time for students with leadership and management ambitions to lay the necessary groundwork. In as little as three years, they could be shortlisted for management positions in some of the world’s newest and most dynamic hotels.
The International Hotel and Tourism Training Institute takes a strong foundation in international management training and tempers it with a world-renown Swiss hospitality education. Backed by these harmonic disciplines, graduates of IHTTI are doubly equipped to tackle the challenges of the hospitality industry.
Looking over the course offerings at IHTTI, it doesn’t take long to note that there’s as much here for entry-level students as for experienced professionals looking to advance their career. Whether seeking a certificate, a bachelor’s degree or an MBA, you’ll find it here.
Here’s an overview of the programs on offer at IHTTI:
The bachelor’s degree track at IHTTI takes three years to complete, which means you can clear this educational hurdle at lower cost while landing a career in the hospitality industry in less time. Year one and year two feature paid internships as well, further offsetting tuition and expenses. Foreign language (German, French or Spanish) factors into all three years.
The three year degree breaks down as follows:
Students spend five months learning the fundamentals of hospitality, covering food and beverage, health and hygiene, accounting and personal development. This is followed by a four- to six-month internship staged in Switzerland or abroad. Year one culminates in a certificate of Swiss hospitality studies.
After their first internship, students return to campus for another five months of intensive study. Courses explore the dynamics of housekeeping, events planning, front office operations and management. Another four- to six-month internship follows, after which students are awarded a Swiss diploma in international hotel operations management.
This is the big year for students on the BA track. A series of management courses are on the agenda, joined by in-depth studies of information systems, business travel and events logistics. After five months, students receive a Swiss higher diploma in international hotel and tourism management.
Then come the final five months. Rather than returning to their internship, students launch directly into another academic term before spending six weeks on their dissertation. This is where the program takes a strong international bent. After the dissertation, graduates are awarded a British BA (hons) degree in hospitality and tourism along with a Swiss degree in hospitality and tourism management.
Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality Management
Designed for rising professionals with executive ambitions, this postgraduate program includes shades of theory and practice. Five months of class time are followed by either a six-month internship or a much longer management trainee program. With this behind them, students qualify for master’s-level programs at IHTTI.
This program targets candidates who have a university degree outside of the hospitality industry. After earning this diploma, applicants are in position to apply for senior-level positions in worldwide resorts and hotel chains. It also works as a credibility builder for those who have substantial industry experience but lack the credentials for career advancement.
The MA program aims to take students with a thorough background in the hospitality industry and mold them into innovators. Research and independent study factor heavily into this program. You’ll graduate from this program on the doorsteps of industry leadership.
IHTTI also partners with Hotel Institute Montreux to offer a Master of Business Administration. This is a fully accredited US graduate degree that attracts ambitious applicants from all over the world.
IHTTI occupies what was once a Eurotel, and it’s stacked with accommodation and leisure facilities. Best of all, students are within walking distance of Neuchâtel Lake, a major entertainment and shopping district, the local university library and the train station. Everything you’ll need for academics and entertainment is on tap here.
Student accommodation is included in tuition, but upgrades are available for those who’d like more space, privacy or facilities. As you could imagine, the service and facilities in this hotel-turned-hotel-school is unrivaled.
Meals are also included in the fee structure, but this is not standard university dining. Options include Chatterbox cafeteria and Les Amis, a French restaurant that doubles as a training ground for advanced-level students.
You’ll also have access to all of the leisure facilities you would expect from a hotel, including a gym, a lounge, a coffee shop and a bar. On top of this, the school’s sports and leisure manager coordinates with a student committee to organize events, activities and excursions throughout the year.
Living in Neuchâtel
Part of what makes IHTTI so attractive to international students is the chance to live and study in Neuchâtel, one of the most attractive cities in French-speaking Switzerland. The town is planted by the country’s largest lake, and it’s famous for its university vibe, world-renown chocolate and historic atmosphere. Zurich, Geneva and Bern are each a short train ride away.
Neuchâtel’s café culture is attractive for students regardless of their study track, but a few of the restaurants in this community will be of special interest to HTM students. French cuisine prevails, and some is served inside of 16th- and 17th-century buildings. A headliner in this department is Hôtel DuPeyroui, a compact palace and gardens that serves fine gourmet fare.
But Neuchâtel is about more than café culture and fine dining. This is, after all, a university town, and there’s no shortage of pubs, discos or live music on the evening and weekend roster. Outdoor sports are also a major pastime, be it sailing on the lake in summer or spending a winter break at a Swiss Alps ski resort.