When you talk about Switzerland, what would come into your mind first? Skiing in the Swiss Alps and downing tons of chocolate and cheese perhaps. Switzerland is also a popular destination for tertiary education - think about the top-notch hotel management schools!
Today I have visited the Lausanne Hotel School (EHL) established in 1893. EHL is the very first of its kind in the world. It used to have its campus in the heart of Lausanne, but as its student base expanded, they moved to the outskirts with more space and facilities. EHL is known for its cultural diversity, its strong international alumni network and its competitive admission The students there learn how to run hotels starting from cooking in the kitchen, serving guests, get involved in interior design for hotel rooms to employing cutting technology and social media.
I chatted with Kristine Ng, a second-year student from Hong Kong, about her studies. She said that the students here are highly competent and competitive. She had to fight for a place in the school. According the Ng, selected candidates need to be articulate, language-experts and have some experience in the hospitality industry. They need fly over to Switzerland to attend a selection day which comprises of a quantitative and analytical test, hospitality aptitude test, an interview and a role-play exercise. It sounds pretty demanding.
In the afternoon, I have checked out the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). This centre has nothing to do with nuclear energy, instead it studies fundamental physics – building humongous machines to examine how earth would have looked like right after the Big Bang, whether the god particle and dark matter exists.
The biggest apparatus at CERN is the Large Hadron Collider. It is an underground accelerator ring 27 kilometres in circumference under our feet, just like a particle roller-coaster. CERN scientist Emmanuel Tsesmelis expressed: “Most exciting is about this project is the scientist don’t know what they will discover – new processes and particles that would change our understanding of energy and matter.”
A sample section of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN