‘Live independently and expose yourself to new cultures’
Updated on Apr 24, 2015 - 5:14 p.m. IST by Bedasree Das

How does it feel to study in a foreign country?  Well, first you get to come out of your comfort shell and second it catapults you to a world of completely new experiences. Studying in a foreign country is not just about education, it is about experiencing a whole new side of life, exploring unknown territories and exposing yourself to new challenges.

Here we have Sasha Iyer, who is pursuing her Bachelors of Business administration from Les Roches Switzerland, talking about her experience in Les Roches and Switzerland.

Below are the edited experts:

Careers360:How and why did you choose your university?
Sasha:I wanted to attend one of the best hospitality schools in the world and they are all in Switzerland. The reason for choosing Les Roches is because it has the perfect balance of theory and practise and I wanted to experience both sides of the industry.  

Sasha:Was there any specific reason why you chose (country)?

As mentioned previously, Switzerland is known for having the best hospitality schools in the world. Thus, I chose Switzerland.  

Careers360:Tell us about the campus life at your university. How different is it from the Indian campus life?
Sasha:Campus life at Les Roches is just unbelievable; there are so many activities for one to get involved. There are activities within the school, such as the Wine Club, visiting Michelin star restaurants like Paul Bucose, sports activities, events, pool parties, etc. In addition, just above the school is the famous ski and golf resort Crans-Montana, offering trekking, sky diving, and much more! Switzerland is a prime location in the heart of Europe and we not only have the opportunity to explore this great country but also visit nearby destinations in Italy or France for the weekend. 

 

Careers360: How is the competition level? How would you describe your experience of studying in a foreign university?
Sasha:Although competition is seen in Les Roches, it is not as prominent as one would expect it to be. Teachers and peers encourage you to push yourself and perform your best, but students respect each other and are always more than willing to help each other out. This is good because there isn't too much pressure on you to excel, but more as an individual goal than an institutions. Of course, we would wish everyone excel beyond limits, but everybody develops in their manner and excel and perform in their respective areas. 

 

Careers360: Did you look beyond the Indian community while making friends?
Sasha:The beauty of Les Roches is that it has over 99 nationalities represented within our community of 1588 students. So, not only do you look at making friends within your own community but you have the opportunity of meeting and making friends with so many other different cultures.  

 

Careers360: What about fests? Have you taken part in any of the fests organized at your university?
Sasha:Every year we have a cultural night. This is a night where different cultures come together and perform something typical to their country to the rest of the school and we have food stalls offering national delicacies of each country. I had the opportunity of taking part in this fest and setting up the stalls. In addition, there are different postgraduate events, normally themed dinners or auction nights. 

 

Careers360: Going from India, how is life in a foreign country? What do you do to adjust in a new environment?
Sasha:It is a completely new experience because you learn to live independently, expose yourself to new cultures and take part in new activities. It helps you grow as an individual and you become more global minded. In the beginning, it might take sometime to adjust, but like in any new environment or university, once you make friends everything else falls into place. You have to get used to the culture at first, but it doesn't take much time to adjust.

 

Careers360: Do you hold any part-time job? How does it help in your education?
Sasha:I have never held a part time job but I have had the opportunity to complete 3 internships in different hotels and this has helped me get to know the industry much better. I was able to put into practice whatever I learned during my internships and inform students and teachers about the practices in the hotels so people know about what is happening in the industry. Internships give you an insight on what the real world looks like and help you prepare for the future.   

 

Careers360: How do you balance fun and studies?
Sasha:It is really not that hard, as long as you manage your time well in terms of studies you will always find time for fun. For example, I always make sure that my Friday nights are free for partying and manage my studies during the rest of the weekend.  

 

Careers360: What is the strength of the Indian student community in the college?
Sasha:The Indian community on campus is very strong, as we are one of the largest communities within the college. So it almost feels like home.

 

Careers360: What are some of the popular programmes among Indian students?
Sasha: The most popular specializations within the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in International Hotel Management among Indians are Accounting/Finance and Entrepreneurship. 

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