BEVERLY, Mass. — Diverse. Challenging. Organic.
That's how Endicott men's cross country junior hospitality major James Dwyer '18 (Berlin, Conn.) described his current study abroad venture in Bluche, Switzerland for the Spring 2017 semester.
Dwyer arrived at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education Switzerland on January 16th, a place he will call home until at least June 2, 2017, though he hopes to stay even longer after classes end to do some more traveling.
A LES ROCHES GLOBAL HOSPITALITY EDUCATION
As a direct entry BBA4 (Bachelor's of Business Adm. semester 4) student at Les Roches International, Dwyer will receive a diploma in Hotel Management from Les Roches once he completes two 6-month internships, which is a little more than what Endicott requires as part of the internship program.
All of the classes Dwyer takes at Les Roches International will transfer over to help him finish his degree at Endicott. He hopes this will help him achieve his career aspiration of working in hotels as a revenue manager or consultant in asset management.
To give those back home a little worldly perspective, Les Roches has five campuses all over the world; one in Chicago, Switzerland, Spain, Jordan, and China.
DAY TO DAY
This business environment that Dwyer is now immersed in is a daily professional simulation that comes complete with a campus dress code from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
"If you are attending class or a meal in the main building, you have to be in a full suit," said Dwyer. "I find there is even more engagement in the classroom here than at Endicott, and since Les Roches is a hospitality-focused school, it's a lot more interesting to me."
Despite the strict rules on attire and most of his time during the day spent in class with the three courses he is taking, there is little work to take home on a daily basis. However, there are still plenty of group projects and presentations that will factor into his three grades for the semester: a midterm, project/participation grade, and the final.
Dwyer said he's found that the people are friendly, which helps when missing his family back home.
"There is an appreciation here for each other. People are very welcoming since we have so many different nationalities," said Dwyer. "I am in probably one of the smallest minorities being from the States."
Being that Switzerland is a "diverse" country, Dwyer has had to learn to communicate and adapt to many different cultures.
"Everyone I have met speaks more than one language fluently. One of my friends speaks six languages. The main language in this area is French, since the Swiss don't have their own language, so it has been tough to communicate when we leave campus for food, or to travel. You'll usually find someone who speaks English, though, and the Swiss are really nice people as well," said Dwyer.
CROSS COUNTRY FAMILY
As a three-year member of the Endicott men's cross country team, Dwyer was named to the 2016 All-Commonwealth Coast Conference team in a season in which the men's team finished second overall at the CCC championships this fall. That placement marked a tie for its highest finish at the CCC Championship meet (2016, 2001) and looks to continue that success next year as a young team.
In the last meet of the season at the NCAA Division III Regionals in Westfield, Mass., Dwyer led the Gulls with a personal best time of 26:57.91 on the 8-kilometer course, good enough for 122nd place overall.
"My favorite part of being a part of the cross country team is that we are a family. Our coach, Spencer Lange, has been amazing at helping each person reach their potential and feel like they are a part of the family," said Dwyer.
WHY ENDICOTT? WHY STUDY ABROAD?
Like many at Endicott, Dwyer chose the College for its location, the internship program that helps build a résumé, and the ability to study abroad.
However, there is one thing he really does miss while being overseas.
"I love the ocean and miss it now since I am landlocked," said Dwyer.
When asked what advice he would give to a student interested in attending Endicott, specifically for his major, Dwyer, a two-time Dean's List and two-time CCC Academic All-Conference honoree, was thoughtful with his response.
"If someone is looking to come to Endicott for hospitality, they get a personalized education. They are not just a number like at the other large schools in the U.S. They should learn a new language, study abroad, and join a team or organization at Endicott. Hopefully, if they want to go into this field, they like meeting new people—Endicott is a great place to make connections that will last forever. If they want global connections, they should consider studying here at Les Roches for sure," said Dwyer.
When not running, making balloon animals, or baking, all of which Dwyer enjoys doing in his spare time, he is member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a student-athlete at Endicott. He also serves as the Vice President of the Class of 2018 through the Student Government Association and is the Director of Late Night Activities in the Lower Callahan.
Dwyer, an American Hotel and Lodging Association member, is also involved with community service, and especially has enjoyed his time with Habitat For Humanity during his time at Endicott.
"Habitat for Humanity is one of the best community service organizations, in my opinion, and every time I volunteer with them I have the best experience of my life," said Dwyer.
INTERNSHIPS, INTERNSHIPS, INTERNSHIPS
As a part of Endicott's experiential learning philosophy, Dwyer has completed internships at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Hartford, Conn. in the human resources department and the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Mass. in dining services.
Those opportunities and his current experiences in Switzerland have opened his eyes to a world of endless possibilities.
"I am looking all around the world for my next internship," said Dwyer. "Les Roches has many connections that have showed me opportunities I would have never thought about had I stayed in the States," said Dwyer.
WHAT THE WORLD HAS TO OFFER
Part of being abroad means the ability to travel and see the countryside. Living in a small village on a mountain near one of Switzerland's largest ski resorts (Crans-Montana), Dwyer expressed how it is very easy to travel and visit other places on the weekend, despite not having a car because the public transportation is "reliable" and "always on time!"
"Switzerland has excellent local wines, so my weekends are usually filled with wine tastings and skiing. It is a very environmentally-friendly and outdoorsy country," said Dwyer.
So, what's his biggest takeaway from this whole experience?
"One of the most important things you can do in your life is travel. I have been to more places out of the States than I have been to in the States. Learning that different people do things differently and eat different things, learn differently, communicate differently is eye-opening and helps you become a better person, especially in the current social climate of the U.S. I think everyone should experience that—after all, we are a nation of immigrants, so why not see how other ethnic cultures live?" said Dwyer.
To learn more about the Hospitality major at Endicott, click here. For more information on how to study abroad while at Endicott, please visit http://studyabroad.endicott.edu. The deadline to apply to study abroad for the Fall 2017 semester is March 10, 2017. To see more of what Endicott students are doing abroad this semester, follow the #GlobalGulls hashtag.