Top 25 hospitality and culinary arts institutes for Asian students
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Top 25 hospitality and culinary arts institutes for Asian students

Over the past few years, the Asia Pacific region has registered faster growth in tourism than any other region on earth. This unbridled expansion is creating new career opportunities faster than incoming graduates can fill them.

The result: Asia’s most ambitious students are racing to earn the qualifications and industry experience needed to take on senior-level positions in the HTM sector.

All of this was solidified over the past two or three years, when economies in the West were struggling to maintain footing on an increasingly competitive global stage. As a rule, Asian markets were able to shake the economic woes faster than their Western counterparts, and domestic tourism picked up considerably. A boom in interest and infrastructure followed.

Hospitality and hotel management schools around the world are wise to these trends. Some are going out of their way to tailor programs that target Asian students. Ivy League universities are partnering with major business and hospitality schools in Asia to create East-West alliances. Students divide their time between two hemispheres, benefiting from the sort of multicultural exposure that separates three-star hotel managers from five-star executives. Needless to say, the professional networks enjoyed by these cooperative efforts are monstrous.

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Pic: IHTTI.

Other hospitality and culinary arts institutes have emerged more organically. Australia, in particular, is quickly becoming the place to earn qualifications in hospitality for Asian students. It’s part of the Asia Pacific region, which means you don’t go far from home to get your degree. But this is also diehard a Western country in all but the geographical sense. And with one out of four Australians born overseas, this country is a natural bridge between hemispheres.

But for students who wouldn’t settle for less than time-tested excellence, there’s no alternative to studying in Switzerland. This is practically the birthplace of hospitality training, and the courses offered here have been generating hotel managers for generations.

Whether you are looking to start a hospitality career from scratch, build up your credentials or transition from an outside industry, there are hundreds of programs out there that deserve your attention. To get you started on your search, here’s a list of the top 25 hospitality and culinary arts programs for Asian students.

IUBH

In your search for the perfect place to study hospitality and tourism management, you’ll be faced with a gamut of choices. The trick is finding a school that’s as committed to modern trends in tourism as it is to that old-world regalia that still underlies international hospitality. This is a difficult prospect, and it’s one that the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef (IUBH) pulls off to great effect. As the leading university for Hospitality Management in Germany, IUBH is an obvious first choice for rising professionals in Central Europe, but the university’s far-reaching international network and world-class instruction is also making it an attractive option for students from Asia and elsewhere. Read full profile…

LE CORDON BLEU OTTAWA

Part of the world-famous Cordon Bleu network, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa in Canada offers internationally recognized certificates and diplomas to a diverse base of aspiring culinary professionals. With a world-class education in French culinary techniques, graduates from Le Cordon Bleu launch careers in gastronomy as well as hospitality and management. For international students from Asia, a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa is an induction into one of the most exclusive networks in the culinary industry. Graduates have gone on to take executive positions in leading kitchens, restaurants and hotels all over the world, and many are well-known chefs. Backed with a network like this, you’ll be ready to launch an exciting culinary career. Read full profile…

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Pic: LCB Ottawa.

SWISS HOTEL MANAGEMENT SCHOOL (SHMS)

For international students intent on earning high-level credentials that they can carry into the hospitality industry, there is no better place to study than in Switzerland. The Swiss Hotel Management School is particularly successful, thanks largely to the distinct, international atmosphere maintained on campus. You’ll be encouraged to adopt the “Swiss Hospitality Touch”, a phenomenon borne out of the longstanding leadership role that Switzerland has played in international tourism. You’ll be learning from some of the key players in 21st-century hospitality, and when you graduate, you’ll have access to the university’s expansive network of hospitality leaders across the world. In short, you’ll be on your way to one of the most competitive careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. Read full profile…

THE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND TOURISM TRAINING INSTITUTE (IHTTI)

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 in Asia set on launching a career in international hospitality, it’s hard a find a more reputable institute 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. Read full profile…

INTERNATIONAL HOTEL SCHOOL 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. Read full profile…

UNIVERSITY OF DENVER (FRITZ KNOBEL)

The University of Denver’s Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality and Management has been on the map since the 1940s and has carved out a stalwart reputation in the decades since. Here, the industry-savvy faculty has one overarching goal: to equip graduates with the skills needed to seize senior-level positions in the fast-changing hospitality industry. Classes and labs are held in the recently built KSHM building, with its nearly 3,000-square-foot production kitchen, which preps students for high-powered internships in metropolitan Denver. But for international students striking out on a career in hospitality, the biggest draw of KSHM may be its graduate placement record – with 100 percent of active job seekers finding a niche.

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA (ROSEN)

Stating specs on training kitchens and production labs seems unnecessary for Rosen College, a hospitality management school in Orlando, Florida. In this case, the empire of resorts and theme parks in this world-class holiday destination do the talking. Forty million annual visitors are the unknowing practice subjects for students at UCF Rosen College. From an international perspective, few hospitality schools are as well positioned. Few US cities have an international atmosphere that could rival Orlando’s. This is, after all, where the world shows up for a quintessential holiday experience. For students from Asia and abroad seeking undergraduate – or graduate-level – degrees in hospitality, event or tourism management, this is the place to begin.

CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC

Cal Poly’s Pomona Institute specializes in hospitality management and offers one of the most competitive programs in the US. There is a booming Asian population in this region of the US, and graduates are primed to take on competitive senior-level positions in tourism markets all over the world. Enrollees benefit from expert faculty and cutting-edge facilities. Furthermore, an outside panel of 45 industry experts inform staff of the latest breakthroughs and developments in hospitality, ensuring there’s no need to catch up the latest industry developments when segueing from the classroom to the workplace. Graduates are regularly among the first picked for top positions in Asia’s burgeoning tourism market.

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Pic: IHSSA.

THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH

A range of culinary arts degrees as well as a bachelor’s in hotel and restaurant management are available at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the oldest and most respected link in the chain of Art Institutes across the nation. The school also offers a diploma in culinary arts. These focus on the fundamentals – skills like knife handling and à la carte preparation – to ready students for entry-level positions in high-end restaurants around the world.  This is a dynamic and international campus. Students from India, Indonesia, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand all study here, and each is assigned an international student advisor to help with immigration, orientation and everyday concerns.

LE CORDON BLEU ADELAIDE

Part of the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu network of culinary arts schools, LCB Adelaide specializes in hospitality management. Adelaide is an epicurean’s dream, powered by five-star hotels, spectacular restaurants and a heady annual events schedule. All of this combines to offer students equal opportunities for hands-on training and weekend leisure. This is a particularly popular destination for hospitality students in Asia. Australia is one of the most successful tourist destinations in the Pan-Asia region, and it’s much closer to major cities in Asia than virtually any city in the West. When it comes to securing the best careers in hospitality, graduates of LCB enjoy a clear edge in both hemispheres.

HOSPITALITY TRAINING ASSOCIATION

With two decades behind it, the Hospitality Training Associations is one of the most effective springboards for Asian students with their sights set on careers in international hospitality. This institute is tied into a major network of hospitality providers in Queensland, Australia and can directly connect graduates with high-powered in-state careers. But for those with a broader vision, the one- and two-year diploma courses offered at HTA can be credited toward a full hotel and restaurant management degree at the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality. This combines close-to-home certification with the chance to study in one of the world’s most prestigious regions for hospitality.

EMIRATES ACADEMY OF HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT

Home to the world’s only seven-star hotel, Dubai is the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination. Operated by Jumeirah the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management originated university-level hospitality and tourism education in the Middle East. In that light, it’s no wonder students from across Asia and abroad are eager to enroll. The organization that unveiled the world’s most luxurious hotel has been just as generous with its training facilities and hospitality labs. World-class infrastructure, industry-leading instructors and a thriving international student body make this one of the most rewarding places to earn a 21st-century degree in hospitality.

HONG KONG SCHOOL OF HOTEL & TOURISM MANAGEMENT

Citing Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s SHTM as one of the best places for Asian students to seek a degree in hospitality and tourism is a glaring understatement. In fact, a study conducted by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research ranked SHTM number two in the world, placing it at the top of nearly any prospective student’s wish list. All undergrads participate in work-integrated education, which means industry placement is part of the curriculum. Better yet, Hong Kong has some of the world’s best travel and tourism infrastructure, and students at SHTM are the preferred pick for industry leaders looking to hire trainees.

JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY

After nearly a century in operation, Johnson and Wales University delivers two of the most sought-after hospitality and culinary arts programs on the US eastern seaboard. Both offer fully accredited degrees that will open doors in any of the world’s leading markets for tourism, hospitality and dining; and thanks to a network of alumni spanning 115 countries, JWU grads are met with open doors. The educational philosophy at JWU is career oriented, and students spend as much time in training labs sharpening their skills as they do in class honing leadership abilities. Outside of class, the Providence music and entertainment scene ensures ample opportunity to balance the workload.

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Pic: SHMS.

HOTELSCHOOL THE HAGUE

According to the World Tourism Organization, Hotelschool the Hague is one of the best hospitality training institutes in the entire world. Backed with accolades of this caliber, the school easily attracts ambitious, career-minded students from Asia and beyond. In fact, this university has one of the highest percentages if international students in the country. Entry-level students work and live in Skotel, Hotelschool’s training hotel. They gain experience working in all facets of hotel operation, from housekeeping to reception and team leadership. This holistic approach to learning ensures that the students have ample opportunity to gain experience in a working hotel while building interpersonal and leadership skills at the same time.

JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY BRISBANE

James Cook’s Brisbane campus opened in 2005 and offers bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management and tourism management, along with a selection of more specialized master’s degree programs. These are integrated courses, and students divide their time between academic lectures and field trips to learn from hospitality providers and actual job placements within the industry that take the knowledge learned in class and mould it into real-world experience. The campus is only a few years old, lies in the heart of the central business district and boasts modern, cutting edge infrastructure. The Brisbane campus is an attractive option for international students, who can take advantage of JCU’s sterling reputation while basing themselves in Australia’s third-largest city.

CORNELL-NANYANG

Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality and Management draws its energy and credibility from both sides of the planet. On one side is Nanyang Technological Institute’s world-renowned MBA program; on the other is Cornell University’s longstanding reputation in hospitality administration. Backed by these two giants, graduates are primed to be industry leaders in either hemisphere. The 12-month program is ideal for Asian students, as studies begin in Singapore at Nanyang’s Yunnan Garden campus before segueing to Cornell, of Ivy League fame. Having these two universities names on the masthead of your diploma is exciting enough, and that’s without considering the 40 percent pay raise that the average returning professional makes after a year at Cornell-Nanyang.

KEISER UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR CULINARY ARTS, MELBOURNE

The Keiser University is well known for its network of institutes throughout Florida, a state known for the leading role it plays in international tourism. Today, students in Asia wishing to capitalize on that reputation have a school much closer to home in Melbourne, Australia. The center offers two-year associate’s degrees that are ideal for launching a career in the culinary arts. Students log 60 hours of class time, a portion of which happens in laboratories and training centers. This is followed by a residence or externship. After two years, these classes can be credited toward a bachelor’s degree program, but they can also stand alone for those anxious to start working.

WILLIAM ANGLISS INSTITUTE, MELBOURNE

One out of 15 students studying at William Angliss Institute’s Melbourne campus is from overseas, and many of these are Asian students from right across the water. This is one of Australia’s oldest and most celebrated schools for hospitality and culinary arts training, so it’s no surprise that students from across the region is taking such a strong interest. William Angliss Institute has taken part in projects across Southern Asia, fostering a network of connections that the faculty can use to help graduates start competitive careers. In fact, the institute has one of the most attractive graduate outcome records in Australia.

HILTON SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

With an iconic name like this, there’s no questioning Hilton College’s credibility. This is easily one of the top hospitality schools in the world, and it draws a dynamic base of international students who would settle for nothing less. Within the US, its hospitality regularly ranks in the top three, which in turn attracts some of the best faculty in the industry. Students gain valuable industry experience in the operational Hilton hotel run on campus. This is a tight-knit community within a community, and it gives the multicultural student body a chance to connect and interact in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

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Pic: Le Cordon Bleu.

GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Since it opened its doors nearly 50 years ago, Glion Institute of Higher Education has had a reputation as one of the world’s leading hotel schools. Located in Switzerland, the heartland of the global hospitality industry, Glion is an alarmingly international place. Roughly 95 percent of all students hail from abroad, many from Asia where the tourism industry is witnessing exponential growth. The educational format is unique and includes a mixture of general educational courses and an early internship that fosters industry expertise. Later internships place students in leadership roles. When not in class, students enjoy the “Swiss Riviera”, one of the country’s most popular tourism and outdoor activities scenes.

AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL HOTEL SCHOOL

This prominent hotel school stands in Australian capital Canberra, but it also has close ties to New York’s Cornell School of Hotel Management. This is also the only university-level hotel school south of the Equator with a real-world hotel on campus. These strong credentials set AIHS apart as a leader in Australian hospitality education. AIHS offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in international hotel management along with a bachelor’s degree in international events management. For Asian students, the chance to reap the benefits of this East-West alliance, with its spectacular networking opportunity, make this an especially attractive place to start a career in hospitality. 

BLUE MOUNTAINS INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MANAGEMENT SCHOOL

A partner school of AIHS, this well-known hospitality school provides students with hospitality and tourism management degrees that carry business degree qualifications. Offerings include a diploma of business, an associate degree of business and a bachelor of business – all in international hotel and resort management. The campus lies in the Blue Mountains on the outskirts of Sydney, and it’s essentially a student-run simulated hotel with lecture halls, training restaurants and laboratories. The international student body serves both as guests and as staff members, ensuring that they graduate with competitive industry insight that comes from both ends of the hospitality paradigm.

ECOLE HOTELIERE DE LAUSANNE

The showpiece of Swiss hospitality training, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne is the oldest hotel school in the world. This is a leading name in hotel management, and graduates with a diploma from EHL basically have their pick of the global market. Many grads have gone on to found major tourism and hospitality organizations of their own. Part of EHL’s unique approach to hospitality is its commitment to assisting developing nations. The school’s administrators view the hospitality industry as a tool that can be salvage floundering economies. This philosophy has brought broad international recognition to EHL, including the Swiss Ethics Prize for sustainable development.

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Oklahoma State’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration has been on the industry map for over six decades, and it remains one of the most respected hospitality programs in the US. Moreover, a recent ranking placed HRAD eighth in the world. This is a hospitality institute to rival any. Undergrads perform research in state of the art practice facilities and actually receive two degrees – one through OSU and another from a partner organization in Europe. This dual certification combined with the chance to complete an internship in Switzerland means graduates are uniquely qualified to carry their skills to any corner of the world.