Studying abroad as a hospitality major can enhance the skill set necessary for a career in this field. By studying abroad, the student gets a sense of other cultures and may acquire or improve another language. This can be important in the hospitality field where there may be contact with people from other cultures and countries. Study abroad also develops other skills that can be crucial for hospitality majors.
From hotels to theme parks and cruise lines to tour operators and more, the environments in which people in hospitality careers work differ widely. However, the primary goal of the hospitality worker in any of those environments remains roughly the same, and it is to help ensure that visitors have a safe, enjoyable time. One of the challenges faced by people in the hospitality field is that they may deal with people from all walks of life and from around the world. Studying abroad can be an excellent opportunity for future hospitality workers to begin engaging with people from different backgrounds and understanding that they may have a different set of expectations.
Related resource: Top 20 Most Affordable Hospitality Degree Programs
One element of studying abroad is that students often must navigate challenging situations in unfamiliar environments without the help of friends and family nearby. This can develop self-confidence that will be valuable in a hospitality career. According to Forbes, living abroad increases decision-making ability and stress management skills. Both of these are important abilities for hospitality workers to develop. They may need to think on their feet and make quick decisions on behalf of guests. Furthermore, careers in hospitality can be stressful as well as rewarding. Managing the needs of guests can be difficult at times. These skills gained from living overseas will transfer well into a career in the hospitality industry.
There are some excellent hospitality programs abroad, and students also get the opportunity for contacts worldwide that can make them more competitive when seeking a job. When studying hospitality abroad, the world also becomes a student’s classroom. The student has the opportunity to observe how hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in different environments welcome guests and what they might be doing wrong. A stint of studying abroad on a resume shows a genuine interest in people and places, and these are crucial qualities for success in the field of hospitality.
The magazine Transitions Abroad reports that the experience of studying abroad in any field enhances students’ careers and lives for years to come. Significantly, students report not just insights into other cultures but into their own. The profound understanding of people that comes from a stint studying abroad is invaluable in the world of hospitality.
Most schools and colleges have an international or study abroad office that can guide students toward possibilities in their major. Students can find out more about costs, whether credits will transfer and what support they will receive from their home university. The opportunity to study abroad as a hospitality major is an excellent one to take and will only enhance a student’s preparation for greater career opportunities in the years ahead.