International Hotel School of South Africa (IHS)
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International Hotel School of South Africa (IHS)

South Africa’s leadership role in tourism was affirmed in 2010 with the FIFA World Cup. Since then, international students looking to secure a foothold in the global hospitality industry have shown a marked interest in institutes like The International Hotel School (IHS).

The chance to study in a locale as exotic as South Africa while picking up internationally recognized credentials through the American Hotel and Lodging Association is hard to turn down. Throw in a smattering rugged hinterland and cosmopolitan outposts, and it’s easy to understand why students from Asia and abroad are so pleased with their decision to earn hospitality credentials here.

Best of all, the world-class infrastructure rolled out for the World Cup means South Africa is spilling over with four- and five-star hotels that double as training grounds for students of hospitality and tourism. Through the school’s practical training programs, you’ll have more opportunity than most when it comes to carving out a hard line of experience that’s hard for potential employers to pass on.

With that in mind, IHS strives to maintain a record of 100 percent placement for graduates. When you are placed with a third-party hotel for training, the school continues to keep tabs on your performance and progress, stepping in where necessary to make the sure the experience you’re gaining has you on track for future success.

The International Hotel School’s placement record is one of its most marketable features, so it makes sense that the recruitment office is selective and actively seeks the most ambitious, career-minded applicants. Naturally, with so many burgeoning tourist scenes springing up in Asia, promising students from this part of the world are in high demand.

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Pic: IHSSA.

A full range of courses

The prospects for professionals with a background in hotel management are much broader than they were even a few years ago. Today’s hospitality graduates aren’t limited to minding hotels anymore. Instead, they’re finding careers in tourism, food and beverage and even fields like accounting and communications.

To that end, The International Hotel School has unveiled a much broader curriculum that ensures its graduates are equipped to compete in an international job market. Along the way, students are trained in real-world scenarios and equipped to handle the challenges of this dynamic industry.

Courses available at IHS range from intensive short courses to full-time diploma courses that are registered with the South African Council of Higher Education.

Diploma in Hospitality Management (Three Years)

Accredited by the department of education, this intensive course is built on a foundation of food production, reception management and food and beverage service, but the material broadens from here. By the end of the third year, students have had the opportunity to build competency in accounting, computer skills and communications.

Diploma in Professional Cookery and Kitchen Management (Three Years)

Like its counterpart, this intensive course goes well beyond the realm of the kitchen to build proficiency in human resource management, purchasing, computers, sanitation and bookkeeping. Of course, all of this is layered over a food production core and includes food laboratory sessions.

Short Courses

The short courses on offer at The International Hotel School cater for industry professionals seeking to sharpen their skills. They’re intense, packed full of information and practical training, and different courses are crafted to suit different levels of experience. Whether for a beginner or an industry veteran, IHS has suitable short courses on offer.

The following nine short courses are regularly staged:

Three days

  • The supervisory course aims at building participants’ interpersonal, managerial and achievement skills.
  • Participants in the food and beverage skills course prepare themselves for the challenges faced in a fine-dining setting.
  • Through the bed and breakfast operator’s course, proprietors learn the essentials of housekeeping, front office and food and beverage production.

Two days

  • The room attendant course prepares participants for housekeeping in a four- or five-star hotel.
  • The front office course emphasizes customer care, guest cycles and other front-of-the-house essentials.
  • The effective management of discipline in the workplace is central to the basic industrial relations course. A second-level course is also available in this department.
  • In the basic health and hygiene course, participants learn the skills needed to follow health and safety regulations in the hospitality industry.

One day

  • Customer expectations along with the skills required to handle customer requests are explored in the customer care course.

Course dependant

  • Culinary arts courses offered through IHS vary in length and can be customized on request.

Beyond the standard offering of short courses at IHS, it’s also possible tailor make a course by coordinating with the school’s hospitality experts.

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Bridging careers

Everyone’s situation is different, and many of the international students enrolled at IHS are looking for avenues to launch a career in hospitality despite the fact that their background isn’t there yet. With so many tourism opportunities emerging across Asia, the need has never been greater for qualified professionals in the hospitality industry.

The Skills, Tasks and Result Training Program (START) is International Hotel School’s answer to this dilemma. This six-month career launching program combines intensive academic training with practical work experience in a South African hotel. With this behind them, some students return home to entry-level careers in hospitality. Others remain at IHS and transfer into a three-year diploma program. In both situations, START is an ideal proving ground for candidates with an interest in hotel management or hospitality.

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Pic: IHSSA.

Long-distance learning

South Africa’s remote location at the southernmost tip of the continent makes it a natural contender in the distance learning arena. Beyond drawing international students from Asia, North America and Europe, the International Hotel School also broadcasts its curriculum through its correspondence courses.

All the materials used in the school’s distance learning program were crafted by the American Hotel and Lodging Association and are internationally recognized. Whether you’re looking to add international credentials to your resume, round out your education or test the waters for a full-blown career move, the more than 30 subjects available through IHS can be tailored to your situation.

Furthermore, students who graduate from the START program but do not have the necessary credentials to enter the three-year diploma program can still enroll as an IHS distance learner. Again, it’s this sort of flexibility that makes IHS such an attractive institute for international students.

Living in South Africa

South Africa is a champion of diversity twice over. Few countries in the world have such a spectacular range of landscapes on offer, from the savannahs of Kruger National Park to the wastelands of the Kalahari. In between are more weekend outing possibilities than a student would know what to do with.

Couple the range of landscapes, wildlife and terrain with the mosaic of cultures found here, and it starts to become clear why so many international students are coming here for diplomas in hospitality. South Africa is practically equidistant from Asia, Europe and North America, and the student body at the International Hotel School reflects this.

IHS has campuses in Cape Town, Sandton and Durban, along with a culinary school in Wandsbeck. Most students from Asia gravitate to the IHS campus in Cape Town, where the five-star hotels, posh dining scene and roiling pub districts mean there is as much opportunity for hospitality students to observe and intern as there is to unwind on a weekend.

You can connect with IHS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube