“Hospitality exists when you believe that the other person is on your side.” – Danny Meyer

Asia is internationally renowned for the quality of its hospitality education, and represents the region’s massive hotel sector. In 2013, the Asia-Pacific’s hotel industry reached a record high of $12.8 billion worth of transactions, and with the first four months of 2014 seeing a 5 percent rise in the number of tourists visiting the region, the figures clearly show how rapidly the industry is progressing.

“In many countries, where tourism has become a major export industry, the hospitality sector is the focal point for concepts of globalisation to take root,” writes Roger S. Cline for Hotel Online. “The hospitality industry is one of the world’s largest employers and arguably one of the largest traders of foreign currency. It is often a focal point for local society, and is clearly at the centre of the transfer of ideas and the cross fertilisation of cultures.

“And those countries suffering from trade imbalances due to high imports frequently look to tourism and hospitality to close the gap. Hospitality is thus not only an industry, it is a concept – and a major force in the rapidly evolving global marketplace.”

It is more important than ever for hospitality, or any business for that matter, to embrace globalisation. We live in a world that is fluid and constantly changing, making it entirely necessary for global industry to adjust in accordance.

Hospitality and its graduates must adopt a “global” mentality in order to survive. From the sophisticated markets of Europe and the States, to the rising juggernauts of hospitality in the Asia-Pacific, the sector’s largest and most influential employers are those who look far beyond the domestic.

With this in mind, employers across the world are seeking highly skilled graduates with an education as distinguished as that received from the top hotel schools in Asia. But with globalisation evermore present on the hospitality agenda, students who gain a world-class education as well as international experience are top of the employability list within their professional sphere.

Here are three courses outside of Asia that will prepare you for a long and successful career in the world’s most competitive industry:

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in International Culinary Arts, International Culinary Institute (ICI) – Switzerland

ICI Switzerland is the international culinary arm of the prestigious IMI University Centre Luzern. The school has a strong focus on career development and international experience, on top of a personalised approach towards education. All these factors have contributed to making ICI the number one culinary choice for so many hospitality professionals.

ICI’s Culinary Arts students learn the ins-and-outs of modern day gastronomy through rigorous tuition that is both practical and academic, preparing graduates to cope with the demands and challenges in the real-world, professional kitchen.

[ICI Switzerland on Twitter.] “Since I came to Switzerland, I’ve learned a lot of new techniques and styles,” says Tommy See, student of ICI’s Culinary Arts programme. “You can learn these things in my home country, but here it teaches new styles of cuisine that they don’t teach in my country.”

Students in Tommy’s class are required to develop brand new culinary products that are suitable for the modern marketplace, and are also given the opportunity to undertake invaluable international work experience.

“Next December I’ll be going to the Hotel Luzern, Switzerland. In my country there are no ski resorts so I would like to try a new style,” adds Tommy. “It’s good for us to explore other places.”

The structure of ICI’s culinary programme, paired with the prestigious reputation of the school, means that students graduate with everything they need to manage their own business, or even run and work in the kitchen of a high-end restaurant or hotel. In general, the median salary for assistant chefs, sous chefs and head chefs lie somewhere between US$30,000 and US$50,000 annually, and anyone leaving ICI has the potential to make it to the top.

Two students at ICI. Credit: IMI

These five schools, and others, offer a whole range of programmes and degrees, to suit every career path. Read on to find out more about top-class hospitality schools in exciting locations around the world…

International Culinary Institute (ICI), Switzerland, is an innovative and independent culinary school located in the stunning city of Luzern. It lies in the heart of German speaking Switzerland, a region famed for the high quality of its educational provisions, as well as its breath taking backdrop. Offering Diploma, Higher Diploma and BA qualifications in International Culinary Arts, ICI fosters a hands-on approach to gastronomy, drawing on inspiration from a diverse array of exciting culinary traditions. Courses are taught by an outstanding faculty of expert professionals, instilling all budding chefs with a passion for food and a desire for excellence in every aspect of culinary practice.

Camosun College is located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Its two campuses serve approximately 18,000 learners a year across a wide range of program subjects and levels. Camosun’s education offerings include university transfer and applied degree programs; career and trades training; upgrading and preparatory programs; and continuing education. The College has earned a reputation for teaching excellence – it is proud of its faculty, staff and students, and the fact that it provides one of Canada’s best learning experiences. Camosun is large enough to provide great services and facilities for a vibrant campus environment on beautiful Vancouver Island, yet small enough to offer students the individual support, care and attention not found in most post-secondary institutions.

Central Queensland University is Australia’s largest regional university. CQUniversity has many locations; each with its own lively character and range of facilities and services as well as program and course offerings. CQUniversity and CQ TAFE have now merged and have commenced operating as Queensland’s first dual sector University. CQUniversity offers a more comprehensive approach to education and training and has one of the largest footprints of any tertiary education institution in Australia. CQUniversity has 15 campuses including newly merged regional Queensland campuses in Gladstone, Emerald, Mackay and Rockhampton along with existing campuses in Adelaide, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Noosa, Sydney and Townsville.

Vatel’s campus, equipped with the best modern facilities for conducive learning, is ideally located in downtown Singapore. The Bachelor Vatel programme’s objective is to train students for operational and administrative management positions. The programme combines cutting edge management science with traditional know-how in international hotel and restaurant management. Students are expected to participate actively in every phase of this highly internationalized and multicultural academic program, and course work is reinforced through immediate application of knowledge in practical settings.

For over 35 years the SHTM has refined a distinctive vision of hospitality and tourism education and become a symbol of excellence in the field. From humble beginnings as a diploma-conferring department, the SHTM has risen to become one of the largest hospitality and tourism schools in Asia and is among the top hospitality schools worldwide. With 65 academics drawing from 20 countries and regions, the School is ranked No. 2 globally based on research and scholarship, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in 2009.

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