A Serving of Swiss Hospitality

Click here to view Engelberg, SwitzerlandFor students in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, the Swiss Alps provide a perfect learning lab. In the final semester of their bachelor of science in hotel and restaurant management program, students spend spring break attending a required, intensive seminar, Global Issues in Hospitality Management, in Engelberg, Switzerland. Join us on a pictorial tour of Switzerland by clicking on the images throughout this article.

Click here to view Lugano, Switzerland

Suzanne Szeigis, BS’03 (M), who made the trip last winter, says, “Switzerland is one country, but it’s so diverse. Each day we could have spoken a different language, with trips to places ranging from German-speaking Zurich to Lugano, a predominately Italian area.”

Introduced into the curriculum in 1980, the seminar was held in various locations until Engelberg was selected as the seminar’s base location in 1990. The leading mountain resort in central Switzerland, Engelberg is located in a high alpine valley within easy traveling distance to the city of Lucerne and to Zurich, Switzerland’s largest metropolis.

Click here to viewthe Hotel Edelweiss

Classes are held for five days in varying locations, but the Hotel Edelweiss, a small family-owned-and-operated establishment in Engelberg, is the students’ home during their stay.

Click here to view the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa Students are immersed in Swiss culture and experience a wide range of hotel and restaurant services. Two of the seminar sessions are held at the five-star Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa in Interlaken, Switzerland’s 2000 “Hotel of the Year.” Michael Gunther, BS’02 (M), describes it as “unlike any hotel in the United States. The service there was paramount.”

In contrast is a visit to L’Aubier, a “green” hotel in Neuchâtel in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. “They operate their own farm and everything is natural and environmentally friendly, from decorations to the solar-powered lights,” recalls Szeigis. “It’s not something you see often in the United States, but it is catching on in Europe.”

Click here to view the Faculty members on top of Mount Titlus

The students study management approaches, techniques and strategies in specific areas of the hospitality industry, such as human resources, organizational systems, law and environmental issues, by contrasting their European experience with what is done in the United States.

One of the many highlights on the trip is a cable car ride to Mt. Titlis. “The view is breathtaking,” says Gunther. “And the diversity of tourists is amazing. They come from Japan, Italy and all over Europe.” Students dine at Fluhmatt Restaurant, a typical Swiss eatery, and return to the hotel via a mountain trail illuminated by torchlight.

Other excursions include trips to Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, and to Lucerne.

The unique venture is followed up with four classroom sessions during the spring semester. This international experience is also available to graduate students in hospitality management studies.

Engelberg | Lugano | Hotel Edelweiss | Victoria Jungfrau Hotel | Program Faculty
Mount Titlis | Lucerne

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