Anyone planning to apply for a place in a Swiss hotel management school may be interested to note that the country’s government recently spoke out against a proposed cap on immigration. An Ecopop campaign has been launched in the nation suggesting that to limit population growth through immigration to 0.2 per cent a year, an upper threshold should be put in place.

Proponents of this measure gathered enough signatures last year to force a referendum on the issue.

According to those who back the cap, a lack of living space is exerting too much pressure on the land and natural resources located within the Swiss borders.

Speaking against the limitations, the government urged voters to reject the proposal. In a statement following a cabinet meeting, it said: “Current immigration policy is based on the free movement of persons with the EU and on allowing a restricted number of persons from non-EU states to enter Switzerland. Immigration from the EU is steered primarily by the economy’s need for labour. Greatly restricting immigration into Switzerland, as proposed by the initiative, would mean that some sectors of the economy would be unable to recruit the workers they require.

“If the popular initiative is accepted, quotas for residence permits of more than one year would need to be set for all permit categories. As there are so many different categories, and the interests of the various economic sectors are so divergent, this would be an exceedingly complex and expensive administrative task.”

As well as paying attention to developments in immigration policy in the country, individuals planning to study hotel management courses in Switzerland can benefit from doing some in-depth research on what to expect once they enter the Alpine nation.

For example, hospitality training programmes there usually last for four-and-a-half years and, depending on the location of the universities and schools in question, instruction can be given in French, German or Italian. Meanwhile, due to a rise in the number of international students attending these courses, many institutions now offer courses in English too.

Another key point for individuals to consider is money. The study load in a typical Swiss hotel school is high, meaning people may not have much time to work outside of their studies. This means they might need to rely on other sources of funding. Also, international students are usually limited to working 15 hours or less per week.

Living costs are also high in the country, and students need to bear this in mind when they are making their financial calculations.

Despite the potential logistical difficulties associated with studying hospitality in Switzerland, there are lots of benefits associated with the move. After all, given the rise of globalisation, it is increasingly important that workers in the hospitality sector have experience of dealing with different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Hotel management schools in Switzerland have an average of around 50 different nationalities at any one time. For this reason, qualifications from a Swiss school tend to go down well with potential employers and they can therefore have a hugely positive impact on people’s career prospects.

About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who has written widely on the topic of hospitality for a range of sites, including