Leading hospitality programs for Asian students
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Leading hospitality programs for Asian students

The global hospitality market has seen fantastic growth this year. Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), hotel investment volumes rose by 38 percent in the first six months of 2013 (according to Jones Lang LaSalle). And that’s only half the story. Hotel investment in Asia is up 85% compared to the same period last year. The figures are particularly impressive in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Global markets are picking up momentum once again after years of stagnancy, and this is feeding the hospitality industry all over the world. Even in the US, where job recovery still lags, the travel industry is faring much better than others. Add the fact that the travel budget of the average person in Asia is expected to increase by 45 percent this year (reported by the Wall Street Journal), and it’s easy to make the case for a 21st-century career in hospitality.

Today’s students and rising professionals are well aware of these trends. The World Travel & Tourism Council projects that travel and tourism will account for 10 percent of the global GDB by 2023. To that end, Asian students who enroll in higher-education hospitality programs will be ideally positioned to cash in what could well be Golden Age of international travel.

Gaining experience when it counts

Relevant experience is particularly important for hospitality students. In this industry, professionals who have worked in a range of positions and have plenty of hands-on experience are going to climb the corporate ladder faster. With that in mind, the best hospitality programs respond with ample opportunity for internships and practical training.

Better yet, many of the leading programs do more than train their students. They seek out paid positions that help to fund studies and offset the cost of living. And interns learn more than simple knife skills while they’re on the job. In many cases, job training placements are overseas and provide the chance to add a second or third language to their skill set.


Pic: Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Finding the right hospitality program

At present, the most prestigious hospitality programs in the world are still in the West – and particularly in Europe. Switzerland, in particular, has some of the oldest and most prestigious hotel schools in the world. Australia is also attractive from an Asian perspective, as it offers a Western-style education from the heart of the Asia Pacific region.

As you compile a short-list of prospective hospitality institutes, remember that cultural awareness and foreign language proficiency are going to be essential to future employability. Seek out programs that emphasize the importance of these assets. And in addition to industry experience, access to key industry players is also important. Not all programs are equally networked, so it pays to do spend time exploring a particular institute’s industry links before applying.

The following list includes some of the leading international hospitality programs for Asian students:


IMI University Centre is a private international management institute in Luzern, Switzerland. The centre offers spectacular opportunities for international students, with English language coursework and the chance to add French, German or Spanish to the syllabus. With a maximum of 220 students enrolled each year, classes are intimate and instruction is personalised. Read the full profile here…


Few culinary institutes can compete with Le Cordon Bleu’s reputation and international network. However, the institute’s Australia division is set apart. It operates campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and offers a comprehensive set of hospitality programs that encompass much more than the culinary arts.


Pic: Student at Le Cordon Bleu Australia.


TNS Global Survey recently ranked Glion as one of the top-five hospitality schools in the world. That’s no small praise given the number of hotel schools in operation today. More than 85% of students already have job offers on the day that they graduate.


Hotelschool caters to students with entrepreneurial aspirations and is a strong contender for international students. In fact, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) ranks it as one of the strongest hospitality institutes in the world. The school’s personalized approach to teaching favors coaching and mentoring to the typical university lecture.


Pic: Hotelschool the Hague.


The International College of Management launched in the 1990s and has gone on to become one of Australia’s leading business schools. The school is associated with Cesar Ritz Colleges (headquartered in Switzerland), where students have the chance to study abroad for credit at ICM.