The world is their classroom

'Look for opportunities in your last internship wherever you are in the world because that's where your first job will likely come from', says David Picard.

David graduated from the International College of Hotel Management (ICHM) in South Australia in 2004. He is now Operations Analyst for Pan Pacific Service Suites and Parkroyal Service Suites in Singapore.
David was required to satisfactorily complete a minimum of 1400 hours of internship somewhere in the world to be awarded the SHA Diploma and before beginning ICHM Bachelor's Degree studies. Some students like David achieve this in two, 20 to 24-week internship semesters while others undertake a third internship.

David's internships were at the Shangri-La Singapore and the Sheraton Towers Singapore, and he went on to undertake his degree work-based project at Le Meridien Melbourne, Australia. 'I went to the college because of its theory backed by the practice of philosophy. The ICHM degree helped me to establish in middle management; my promotions have been quite fast in comparison to others.' he says.

According to Marketing Director Daljit Rao ICHM follows the training model set down by the Swiss Hotel Association. 'We believe in the importance of learning the industry from the ground up and that a good hotel manager has a broad understanding of core hotel operations through multi skills, she says.

Daljit says that ICHM's Industry Placement Team works with a network of more than 400 hotels around the world to place students, though most choose to undertake at least one in Australia. As a rule ICHM places students in paid positions, though wage rates vary from country to country. Students who take their internships in Australia can save A$3,000-$5,000 each semester after all costs are met.

'The internship process begins even before academic study, with students required to list three destination preferences on their internship request form. ICHM's placement team managers then research the positions and formally apply on behalf of students, who may then be required for a telephone or face-to-face interview', says Daljit.

David is active in Singapore's ICHM alumni of around 20, and happily recommends ICHM to anyone who is passionate about the hospitality lifestyle. 'Going to ICHM and getting a degree doesn't mean you're destined for a hotel. ICHM gives you the keys and opens up lots of doors; the rest depends on you', says David.

Established 18 years ago in South Australia, ICHM is the Asia-Pacific campus of the world-famous Swiss Hotel Association. Since it started educating and training young people for the hospitality industry, ICHM has enrolled students from more than 80 countries who live on campus in purpose-built villa-style accommodation.

ICHM has a generous scholarship programme, and awards four scholarships to international students each year. Students from Sri Lanka are eligible to apply for an Australian Government Endeavour Scholarship worth up to $100,000.

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Source: David Samuel, Business Development Manager, Australian Trade Commission, Colombo-Sri Lanka. E-mail:

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