At Glion, an extensive range of nations are represented on campus including China, France, Iceland, India, Italy, South Africa, Vietnam and the UK among many others. This fall, we expect an average of more than 50 different student nationalities at each of our three campuses!
In an age of advancing global communication alongside travel becoming more accessible – among other international developments – the business world is further opening up into a global marketplace. People are becoming ever more mobile, moving overseas to find their next professional position, as members of the global graduate talent pool.
For some, living abroad and becoming immersed in other cultures has always been a big part of their lives. For others, the idea of living and working internationally sounds similar to moving to another planet! How does it sound to you? At our campuses in Glion and Bulle in Switzerland and London in the UK, every student has a different story to tell, in this respect. We invite you to look at some of these student journeys below and the three main benefits that we feel you gain while studying or working in a multicultural environment:
Reason 1 – Gain international exposure in preparation for a global marketplace
Being exposed to a wide range of people originating from all over the world is a unique experience. It brings you both personal and professional rewards – in the here and now, and in your future career.
Having the opportunity to study alongside global classmates offers you not only a remarkable chance to improve your awareness today, but also takes you on an exclusive learning curve before you graduate into today’s all-inclusive global marketplace; where you’d be working in environments that would require you to connect with people from any country.
Students at Glion are truly taken on a journey of humankind from the comfort of their campus. This offers an extraordinary advantage.
Sara (USA/Colombia/Egypt), studying for her BBA in Hospitality Management, gives us her thoughts: “Almost everyone has a different background at Glion; I transferred from the Swiss campus to the London campus for one semester so I’ve experienced this in both countries.
Living on campus gives you the chance to meet with other students, make friends and exchange cultures. It is amazing to be exposed to so many different cultures and traditions; it opens your eyes to different customs. This experience prepares you for a global industry because it enables you to become more aware, sensitive and respectful towards others.”
Unlike any other opportunity of its kind, intercultural exchange with other students in the classroom, in halls of residence or on the sports field can take you below the surface of a friend’s national heritage. Possibly even more so than a holiday to their home country could! This journey of cultural discovery helps to improve your soft skills before you attempt to navigate the ‘real world’ of international business.
Aghasaf from Azerbaijan, a BBA student at Glion Switzerland who transferred to the Glion London campus for one semester, recalls his experience:
”Since my first day in Glion I have made hundreds of friends from different cultural backgrounds and I have enjoyed broadening my knowledge about other cultures. This university was built on diversity and opportunities. Hospitality is the most diverse and international industry and is about working with and for people from different parts of the world.
The Glion Multicampus program takes this value to a new level by offering you a chance to study and have international experience at the same time.”
In seeking out this interesting educational experience, students take the opportunity to explore and define their own values as the scope of their understanding of our world broadens. On a daily basis, they get to collaborate with their multicultural ‘colleagues’ on group projects, accelerating their awareness and lifting the ‘national barriers’ on their future potential!
Completing internships abroad during their program further exposes students to working life in a global industry before the time comes for them to find a full-time position. Students soon discover for themselves that multicultural teams are commonplace.
Industry professionals often work for hotel chains with a global presence. This allows them to work their way around the world by transferring between properties in different locations. Many Glioners plan to venture on a global career just like this.
Charlotte, a British 2015 graduate of the Event, Sport and Entertainment (ESE) with International Event Management program gives us her perspective:
“A Glion student is definitely international and worldly. We all share the same interest in traveling and working directly with people, either in the events or hospitality industry.
Glion has exposed me to the wonderful world of events and the importance of studying in an international environment. I have been lucky enough to make friends all over the world.
On internship, I moved to NYC with my best friend from Glion, and we lived and worked in Manhattan for six months, an opportunity that would be hard to match.
I plan to move to Hong Kong next year to continue working in the events industry.”
So we can see the benefits are certainly there and felt by undergraduates, but what do industry-hiring managers think? Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), the world’s largest provider of custom research and analysis, completed a broad industry survey amongst a large sample of senior managers from luxury hotels around the world. A key conclusion highlighted from the survey results found that just over half (56%) industry managers based in luxury hotels prefer graduates who have trained in more than a single country; graduates with an international education have a significant advantage in the jobs market.(1)
Reason 2 – Become a better communicator while boosting your language skills
Being introduced early on to working within multicultural teams helps to develop your emotional and social intelligence; you become an overall better communicator. Making friends with someone from another country, with a different view on life, opens you up to the world. They help you to look beyond national stereotypes, question any misguided preconceptions you may have had, and better empathize with those around you. New perspectives and a much more global frame of reference enters your worldview.
You notice subtle changes in body language that would have passed you by in the past, signs that can indicate you need to adapt your communication style! You learn to appreciate the importance of dressing appropriately in a foreign country. Your global friends soon let you know what is unsuitable! Listening to a wide range of viewpoints in class discussions also empowers you to see a situation from a number of angles. This makes you more able to solve problems creatively.
Claudia (Italy/USA), studying for her Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at Glion London, talks about what she likes about her studies:
“I would recommend Glion because it develops us students to understand what the real working world is like. It puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of professionalism and it instills in us the importance of soft skills in the industry.”
In hospitality and events work environments, good collaboration is needed between colleagues. Communication must be clear. Strong interpersonal skills are therefore a real advantage among an international team working on a fast-paced project.
As we know, communication by nature is two-way. Improved listening skills and experience in negotiation gives Glion students the ability to deal with challenging situations with ease. As part of an international student body, students have the unique chance to practice their language skills. It may be French, Mandarin, Spanish, or another language that they aspire to speak. Recently, the student Campus Life Leaders at our Bulle campus in Switzerland have put in place a ‘language exchange’ program between students and a local college, allowing students to practice their French and English.
Glioners satisfy their curiosity about the world around them while learning to express themselves in a sophisticated way, beyond state boundaries. International companies from across the globe travel to the Glion campuses to recruit cosmopolitan students for their companies, for internships or management trainee schemes. Basic or advanced language skills on your CV tell of your ability to show respect for international guests while making them feel at home. Skills of this kind can therefore enable you, the aspiring employee, to add value to your résumé and stand out from the masses. This increases the range of opportunities for employment available to you.
Thank you to students Sara, Claudia and Aghasaf and alumna Charlotte for sharing their experiences with us.
- TNS International Hospitality Management Schools: 2013 Worldwide Industry Ranking Survey
Remember to check out the wide range of programs available about Glion. If you want to improve your English, log on to the Laureate Global Portal
Source – Glion Institute of Higher Education