At this immersion programme, the School of Hospitality welcomed 28 aspiring hoteliers from the Hotel International School, Bali. This programme not only enabled students to understand the academic context of the degree studies here, but also lets students learn and experience a different culture 2,000km away from their home.
The immersion programme began with an upbeat momentum by Ms Hairani M Nur, Senior Teaching Fellow and Associate Programme Leader of Events for the School of Hospitality, sharing about the culture in Malaysia. During this session Hairani shared about what one should expect in terms of socio and cultural aspects while living in Malaysia. She highlighted that these sociocultural differences are embedded in individuals’ lifestyles and business practices. Though Malaysia and Indonesia are neighbouring countries within the same region, there are do’s and don’ts that could differ significantly. These are commonly noted as the nonverbal communication that are implied in the society. One area that caught the Balinese students’ attention was the localised English in Malaysia – Manglish. As Malaysia is a heterogenous society, it is rather common for locals to combine local dialects (Malay, Mandarin and Tamil) with English. Manglish has somewhat evolved into local language, where visitors are not be able to decipher.
After this lively introduction, Associate Professor Dr Daniel Chong Ka Leong conducted a workshop on “Introduction to Specialty Coffee”. At this session Daniel shared about the numerous types, techniques and tools used to produce coffee. He mentioned that “Southeast Asia is a region that produces good coffee beans. However, likely due to ‘old-fashion’ methods of roasting, the roasted coffee may taste burnt due to uneven roasting”. He further added that this phenomenon has possibly changed the liking of Southeast Asians towards western-style coffees. To add some fun into the session, students were also able to volunteer for a pour-over coffee competition. Through this activity, it is affirmed that different techniques may yield different tastes although the same products and tools are being used. This session has surely broadened the views of students concerning a growing coffee culture.
Additionally, Ms Rita Lo, Senior Teaching Fellow of the School of Hospitality conducted a session on “How to Successfully Manage a Hotel”. She highlighted that the planning component is the first step to ensure an existent and consistent organisational direction which is expected to provide hotels with a competitive edge. Furthermore, departmental planning also plays an important role to bring about effective yet efficient organisational operations. Rita continued by emphasising that the development of Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) is vital as it clearly states the purpose of duties, and specificity of tasks where staff of all levels can rely on. Moving forward in this era of connectivity, Rita pointed out that the use of technological tools is inevitable as it improves efficiency. This session also further equipped students with hotel operations knowledge with case studies and group activities.
The students of the Hotel International School Bali exhibited exemplary participation during these workshops and were being presented a certificate of participation by the Dean of the School of Hospitality – Professor Marcus Stephenson. The coordinator of project, Ms Evelyn Loh mentioned, “An immersion programme such as this enables visiting students to witness and experience what Sunway University has to offer. It also opens them up to a globalised context of hospitality studies”. The School of Hospitality would also like to thank the International Office, specifically Mr Henchard Too, Ms Angelyn Tan and Mr Ricky Lam for connecting these institutions.