Hotels, resorts and other lodging accommodations exist all over the world. What they all have in common is the need for skilled management that facilitates smooth day-to-day operations and strategies for long-term success. Studying hotel management at a college or university is the most reliable way to gain the knowledge and work experience you need to handle the challenges of managing a hotel anywhere in the world. Whether you study hotel management in North America, Europe or Asia, your job prospects extend far beyond a country’s or continent’s borders. If you want to put yourself on the path to a career managing a hotel anywhere on the globe, you could start by choosing a degree program that specializes in international hotel management or a program that will allow you to train at one of the best teaching hotels in the world.
Considering a Degree in International Hotel Management
Some degree programs focus specifically on preparing to work in international roles in hotel management. Like other hotel management degree programs, the curricula of these courses of study usually include classes in the hospitality experience, rooms division management, housekeeping, food and beverage service and cost controls and hospitality financial management.
In addition to these hotel management courses and general courses in business – like strategic management, marketing, human resources and accounting – you should expect to complete some coursework in international hotel management specifically. Some of these courses with global relevance include international hotels and events, strategies for globalized hospitality, world cultures and costumes, the development and management of international hotels and one or more courses in a foreign language.
There’s a perspective shift in studying international hotel management as opposed to general hotel management or hospitality management. All hotels in major tourism destinations are global in the sense that their guests may come from countries around the world. However, studying international hotel management specifically means making a conscious decision to understand the global travel industry and how the concept and practices of hospitality differ between cultures.
You might expect international hotel management programs to only be offered at the graduate level, but in fact, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or an undergraduate certificate or diploma in this field of study.
Gaining Student Work Experience at the World’s Best Teaching Hotels
You can only learn so much about the tasks and skills needed to be a successful hotel manager in the classroom. To put those skills into practice, you need firsthand work experience in a hotel. Many colleges that bundle hotel operations into a broader degree program in hospitality management simply have students complete internships at established hotels, an experience which, although valuable, may be more like a temporary job than a fully integrated component of your education. Top hotel management schools go the extra mile to provide students with uniquely structured field experiences at a full-service hotel owned by the school and operated by students.
Teaching hotels exist all over the world, MoneySense reported. Among these global overachievers are Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Hotel ICON, Amsterdam’s Skotel, Montreal’s Hotel de l’Institut, the Edge Hotel School’s Wivenhoe House in the United Kingdom and the Don Bosco Hotel School in Cambodia. Teaching hotels often feature an upscale atmosphere and amenities, full-service kitchens and restaurants and rooms for meetings and events, so they offer students a range of experiences and guests exceptional service at reasonable prices. Because the operations of these hotels are designed around educating students, they have more comprehensive training programs than your average off-site internship, which might offer little opportunity for cross-training between departments.
Learning your profession at a world-renowned teaching hotel allows you to kick off your global travels early and begin forging connections not only in the field of hotel management but specifically in the tourism landscape of a country that interests you. If you study at an international teaching hotel or you otherwise travel abroad for a hotel management internship, you have the added benefit of being able to immerse yourself in a foreign language or culture.
In the United States, one teaching hotel that is consistently well-regarded is The Statler Hotel in Ithaca, NY, which is part of the Cornell University campus and is operated by students of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.