Igor Travels Abroad

"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take."


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A Most Interesting Week… and That’s an Understatement!

Fresh off the desk of Igor Miller

Montreux, Switzerland


Well, what a week!

Friday – Tropical  Theme Night

Last Friday night started off as a blast, being Tropical Theme Night at school. After surviving another week, it was finally time to let loose, eat great food and drinks, play games and party with classmates. Apart from having the best pulled pork and coconut cake, we had foosball, beer pong, karaoke, mojitos and more!


Afterwards, I went out with my friends, singing, dancing, and having a great time, and it was time to return back home at 2AM and at least get a little bit of sleep and be ready to go back to school at 6AM for… Europa Park excursion!

Saturday – Europa Park

Fun Facts: Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany, and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe, following Disneyland Paris. Each part of the park resembles a different country from the rides to food, drink, music and culture. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in south-western Germany, between Freiburg and Strasbourg, Alsace. It is privately owned and operated by the Mack Family.

Luckily, I came prepared and got in some good sleep on the 3 hour bus ride to Germany.

Sleeping on the bus ride to Europa Park

Sleeping on the bus ride to Europa Park

Once we got there, my friend Daniil and I sprinted for the rides and tried out all the separate attractions. We ate lots of pizza, “tasted” German beer and even won some prizes.

We won bears 🧸

We won bears 🧸

After a good 9 hours of fun, it was time to return back to school. Needless to say, I slept well.

Sleeping on the bus ride home

Sleeping on the bus ride home

Sunday / Tuesday – 48 Hours of Blindness & Swiss Medical System

This was quite a shocker. I went to bed with nothing hurting in my eye and woke up at 5AM due to a bad pain in my right eye, with the sensation as if a thorn was under my eyelid. After trying to wash it out for over 2 hours, I gave up and called the doctor.

The doctor told me to go to the hospital and I called my close friend to help me get there because I couldn’t see. They re-routed me to a eye hospital 40 miles away (yes, the Swiss have a hospital for everything) and sat there for a good 6 hours in urgent care waiting to get treated.

Finally, a doctor looked at my eye and found nothing… no sign of infection, nothing inside, just a very slightly scratched cornea from maybe something being there before. I received 4 weeks worth of eye drops, 1 week of antibiotics, and 1 week of vitamin a creme to expedite healing… and to put the cherry on top, a giant eye patch to make me look like I was going to the next shooting for Pirates of the Caribbean.

I don't know how my friend got me to smile for this picture

I don’t know how my friend got me to smile for this picture

I couldn’t really move me eyes and all and it was so painful I had to keep them closed. I couldn’t see for over two days.

I have to say though, it was a very interesting experience. I got a ” sneek peek” (yes, a horrible pun) and on a serious note about what those with blindness have to experience on a daily basis. Of course there were funny moments like trying to shave to go to school blind and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working. Turns out, I grabbed the toothpaste and lathered it all over my face, rather than the cream! And I especially felt like a child again when my girl friends came over to feed me with a spoon. And I learned how to use voiceover (a iPhone feature for the visually impaired)

But what I did really get insight in was what challenges people due face with disability. Firstly, to be taken seriously and have people listen to them. When I was at the store, people communicate with my friends, not me. I was blind, not deaf for pete sakes! Secondly, I learned the reality that I literally take everything in my life for granted. The simplest things like putting my shoes on become a hard task to even located them in the first place without accidentally hitting my head against the wall.

Finally, and this may come as interesting, I learned to listen more to my heart and who I am and who others really are. Without the visual distraction, I could really instead focus on what I felt and really thought inside, concentrate more and not be distracted. I could focus not on the looks or the world and people but appreciate more of who they are just by their personality. This came as very interesting and some typical things such as listening to music or listening to audiobooks actually became the highlight of the day, because it made me see things from a new perspective.

Don’t judge others by their looks, judge people by their heart

So… on Wednesday it was off with the eye patches and instead….. A Wild Jungle Night in Africa

Wednesday – Africa Banquet

(Pictures will be ready and attached to next week’s posts)

Now this was a fantastic day! Not only could I see again but I came to school at 9AM and began working on food preparation for our Africa Banquet. I was our marketing manager, but instead came back to join the team and prepare the food. Our kitchen team was a little bit lost as to what was going on and luckily I have the knowledge and experience under my belt from my first kitchen internship last year to get things back in order. Again, one of the benefits of having an internship mandated education with real-world experience. We had to make snacks, a vegetarian and meat amuse bouche, starters, main courses and desserts for 80 people. Easy as pie. 🙂

I personally remained calm and we all helped prepare the mise en place, cut the food and cook. Unfortunately, our team didn’t have accurate recipes so I kind of just experimented making half of the dishes on the spot from previous recipes and techniques I learned. Don’t worry, the food did come out very good!

Upstairs, our entertainment and service team transformed the student cafeteria into a jungle, with incredible decorations, greeting cards, student names and ambiance.

The evening went by with great success… With incredible entertainment, dancing, food, games, prizes and music and everyone had a terrific time. After 8 weeks of preparation, hard work and blood, sweat and tears, we can proudly say, we did a great job and pulled off an amazing banquet!

Overall, another amazing week studying at the most amazing school. It’s a world class education and I’m so grateful to be sharing these moments with incredible students, friends, teachers and staff and everyday I’m learning something new.

There’s so much to do and I’m very happy and proud to to say that I am a student at #HIMontreux and to be #SwissEducated

See you next week… you’ll love the Banquet pictures 😉

Igor


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Exams, Friends and Mid-Term Break

The title is quite self-explanatory and this past week I had exams…nine to be precise.

First up on Friday, we had Italian night at Hotel Institute Montreux. The school loves to prepare fun events that focus not only on studying, but also having fun while doing so. The pizza was very yummy.

Afterwards, I had a very good weekend seeing my friend Shishir again from SHMS, my previous university, who is studying a bachelor in hospitality as well. We went to get some food and hot chocolate, since the past week has been cold and rainy then went to watch the Avengers: Endgame together. It was really fun and we had a blast.

After the fun, it was time for exams and school work though. I did handle all of them quite well and had to recap what we have learned the past 4 weeks on a formal exam.

The education so far has been very rewarding. I know I have talked about the cool things we do each week and it’s nice, but this university truly does stand out. More specifically, this week was a good summary of what I have learned so far and it is a lot. More importantly, it was learned through action, from principles of management class, where we conducted interview and surveys with students to understand leadership in the 21st century, to acting as mystery guests infiltrating local business to better understand how they market local tourist attractions to even dressing up as Africans to promote our 80 person banqueting event with the theme, A Wild Jungle Night in Africa.

(Our entertainment team promoting our event through the classrooms 😀 )

If that’s not enough, we are designing a resort concept for a 200 day world-cruise with our team, in another class a hotel and outlining operations and defending case-studies. All in all, school is very action oriented and fast-paced.

Back to exams, they went very well. I felt good at what I was doing. I do feel I can absolutely do much better though and will be working even harder for the next 5 weeks coming up. Many projects will be due and this is the time to start doubling down and working.

I prepare for my exams above, such as Principles of Management presentation, where my college and I interviewed over 63 students at age of 19-23 doing internships in Europe to collect and compile intriguing data as to student’s perspectives on leadership and management in the 21st century. We aimed at implementing over 9 management theories by famous managerial experts and theorists, giving us insight as to how we can become better leaders in today’s world.

After all the exams, we now have a weekend and long break (Thursday until next Monday). Many students are escaping the rainy and cold Montreux weather to warm places, such as renting a villa in Ibiza, sun-tanning at Lake Como in Italy or enjoying tapas in Spain.

What am I doing? I think the usual stuff I do, which is probably the exact opposite of everyone else. I’m waking up at 5AM and working out  at the gym. I had a personal trainer before I came to Switzerland so following my routines. Today was triceps, back and legs day.

Afterwards, I spent the day organizing my room, going shopping and taking care of chores, then really digging deep and doing some life and time management planning. I think these are the best times to get clear on purpose, bigger goals and life and what am I heading towards, whereas when school is going on, it’s very difficult to do so. I’m re-learning Tony Robbins, Time of Your Life, which throws conventional time management into the garbage and is a profound and new way to be able to not only achieve more, but also have more fulfillment doing so. I read Grant Cardone’s book 10X today as well and started on Think and Grow Rich.

Last but not least, I am, most importantly, working on my school projects this weekend to have excellent progress towards my final exams. I want to ensure I do an outstanding job and give it my absolute best effort.

Tomorrow, I will visit my friends and colleagues in Gstaad Palace, where I did my previous internship and will share those next week.

For now, have a great night and thanks again for reading. Talk soon and my best regards,

Igor

PS: If you or you know a friend who is interested in studying abroad, especially business and hospitality at my school, download this absolutely free brochure about Hotel Institute Montreux https://www.hotelinstitutemontreux.com/en/form/brochure

 


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The Last Supper

Grüße Miteinand!

(Hello everyone in Swiss German)

Pardon the title. It is a bit dramatic but I figured it sounded appropriate. 😁

My 4 month internship at the Palace has come to an end. And what a better way to celebrate then go with my front office team and have authentic Swiss Fondue Moite-Moite at the local Post Hotel Rössli in Gstaad.

Moite Moite in French means half half. This stems from the recipe of cheese fondue being half cheese Gruyere AOP and half Vacherin Fribourgous, two famous cheeses of Switzerland. The cheeses are melted together with white wine and sometimes even garlic or truffle is added to make it even more spectacular. One then STIRS, not dips the bread in. (Swiss can always tell if you are a foreigner eating fondue, as foreigners dip the bread in and don’t stir it).

Afterwards, we went to have fun and meet the rest of our team members at Bro’s coffee in Gstaad then Chesery (Chey-serr-ee) not cheesery, even though it sounds like more cheese.

It was great fun and after the last day, I’m now taking the long 8 hour train ride to Frankfurt and leaving for the USA tomorrow morning. Now back to my snooze.

I’ll keep you posted on my next travels and see you soon!

Igor

PS: If you haven’t yet, subscribe to my blog on the right and get updates every time a new post is published. Merci vielmal! (Thank you in Swiss German)