A Swiss Adventure

A group of students from V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE) recently visited Switzerland and its neighbouring regions as part of their annual study tour


On April 14 this year, 12 students from the V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE), accompanied by the institute’s director and principal, professor Irfan Mirza, and chef Sebastian Breitinger, embarked on their annual study tour to Switzerland and its neighbouring regions.  

The group’s tour began in Zurich where they explored its cultural delights amidst the backdrop of the annual Zurich Spring Festival which included music, boat races, fireworks, and parades. The day was filled with admiration for the city’s stunning architecture, churches, and monuments.

The group then ventured to Alsace, France, known for its picturesque vineyards. They explored the majestic Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a medieval castle. They visited local wineries where they sampled a variety of wines, including the renowned Crémant D’Alsace, while also savouring local delicacies such as tarte flambé.

The group then explored Basel and ventured to the Feldschlosschen Beer Brewery in Rheinfelden. They also visited Montreux and met an institute alumnus.

The group’s cultural exploration continued with visits to Maison Cailler Chocolate factory and La Maison Du Gruyere cheese factory. Additionally, they explored historical landmarks such as the Château du Gruyere Castle.

After their enriching experience, they were welcomed into the residence of Marga Cretton and Hans Moser in La Bouveretm who were guests at the VMSIIHE campus during their recent visit to Goa.

A highlight of the tour was the visit to Cesar Ritz College, where the students gained insights into hospitality education. Additionally, they explored the Bex Salt Mines, experiencing the age-old tradition of salt production. The group also explored the Chef Anton Mosimann Museum, showcasing the culinary legacy of the honorary dean of the culinary institute.

On April 20, the group headed out to Leysin Village in the mountains, where they enjoyed the snow. They then proceeded to Glacier 3000, famous for its cable karts up the mountains, skiing routes, and snow trails down the mountains. The group also paid a visit to the Grand Plaza Hotel, where they met another former student.

On day 7, the group stopped at the capital city of Bern, where they marvelled at the iconic bears of Bern, observed the Zytglogge clock as it struck 12 p.m., and toured the parliament house of Switzerland. Additionally, they met Sohan Lal and learned about his inspiring stories and experiences in Switzerland. They then proceeded to Interlaken, where they visited the cathedral Romisch-Katholische Pfarrei Heiliggeist, as well as various stores.

On April 22, the group drove to Lauterbrunnen where they visited the Trummelbach Waterfalls. They then proceeded to Schonbergtrasse and made a brief stop at the Panorama Rundweg Thunersee, a panoramic pedestrian suspension bridge over Rubber Canyon. They also explored Gunten Port, where they discovered Barlauch leaves, commonly used in Italian cuisine. The day concluded with a visit to the Schloss Museum at Thun. The following day, the group headed to Luzern, where they explored the city, including the famous wooden bridge.

Reflecting on their journey, Mirza said, “This tour provided our students with invaluable exposure to diverse cultures, culinary traditions, and industry insights. It was a transformative experience that will undoubtedly enrich their academic and professional journey.”

Rhea Ann Bruto da Costa and Sangel Serrao, both first-year B.Sc. International Hospitality Management students, jointly shared, “From exploring diverse regions in Switzerland and France to indulging in various cuisines and beverages, our experience was truly holistic. Meeting industry professionals, hearing their insights, and receiving guidance boosted our confidence in our chosen career path.”

David Gomes, also a first-year student, said, “Visiting captivating destinations, learning new things, and gaining knowledge applicable to my future were highlights.”