People travel the world for tourism. A degree in hospitality management can prepare you for career roles in tourism not only across the United States, but across the globe. Although you may worry that a hospitality management degree from a college or university in one nation may not be ideal for seeking a job in another country, these programs incorporate the versatile skills needed to work in the massive international tourism industry into their curriculum. In anticipation of preparing graduates for a career that revolves around travel, many hospitality management programs include domestic or international travel as part of the curriculum. You can find specialized programs in global hospitality management as well as taking steps to research and learn about different countries in which you’re considering working.
Travel’s Role in Hospitality Management
You don’t have to wait until you graduate to start seeing the world. Although most hospitality management programs are offered in areas where the tourism industry is already strong, it’s not unusual for travel to be a part of the curriculum. Some of these travel experiences are merely a matter of days or a couple of weeks. Others are full semesters abroad or international internship opportunities that may last as long as six months or more.
Certain hospitality management schools even offer nontraditional study abroad options, such as a cruise ship study abroad opportunity, which is ideal if you wish to work in this unique tourism environment.
Consider a Program in Global Hospitality Management
Some hospitality management programs specialize in preparing graduates for the international tourism industry. In a program in global hospitality management, classes in politics and international affairs, cultural diversity in the global workplace, cross-cultural communication and sustainable development in a globalized world round out your curriculum of more general and task-specific studies in the field. You may complete all of your studies at one campus or spend entire semesters at campuses in other countries, either owned and operated by your school or available through partnerships between institutions.
Tips for Success in Hospitality Management Roles Abroad
If you want to work in hospitality management in another country, you should begin preparing for your ideal career early on in your education. Learning the primary language of the country or area in which you hope to work is an asset to your marketability as a job candidate, but it can also take years to achieve fluency, or at least proficiency. Even if they aren’t a required part of your curriculum, foreign language courses are a great accompaniment to your studies in the workings of the hospitality management industry and in business administration. Learning about other cultures, particularly those inhabiting the area in which you wish to work, is also valuable, as are studies in the history and geography of that location.
There are plenty of factors to think over when choosing where to work in the hospitality management industry. Of course, you may feel a personal tie to a place due to family history or an enduring desire to visit (or return to) a specific locale. You should also consider the weather and the type of activities for which the place is known and how those factors fit in with your life and career plans. A mountain resort in the Alps may be a great fit for an avid skier who doesn’t mind cold weather, but it’s a poor choice if you prefer balmy temperatures and beach views.
Although it shouldn’t be the deciding factor for where you take your career, you might also want to look at trends in the growth of the hospitality industry in different areas. Although the United Nations World Tourism Agency reported a 4 percent increase in international tourist arrivals for 2019 that illustrates how growth in the industry is outperforming the overall global economy, this growth isn’t consistent across all regions of the world. While international travel to Europe has seen a slower rate of growth than in previous years, travel to the Middle East is up considerably. Considering how your intended country of employment is doing in terms of tourism growth will at least help you understand how competitive the job market will be and begin to develop a strategy for how to achieve your career goals.
Even if you don’t plan to work in a country where a different language is the predominant one, the guests of your hotel, restaurant or tourism company may be international travelers, so it’s still valuable to know a second language.