Poland to Palermo

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Poland to Palermo: Project – ‘New skills – greater opportunities on European work market’

Summary: 18 Polish students specialising in Hospitality Food & Beverage in POWER mobility in Palermo (Italy) along 4 weeks in April-May 2017.
10 students followed a training focused on Hotel Management and met several Local Hotels and B&B managers to learn about their professional experience.
8 students had an internship within pizzeria and restaurants in Palermo.

What was done:
During the training in Hotel Management, the students had to work in couple on a case study. Along the four weeks they created a potential business plan for the opening of a hospitality structure in the Palermo area. The creation of this business plan was completed by the supervision and lectures from two professional degreed in Hospitality Management. Moreover, meetings with professional from Palermo’s hotels and Bed & Breakfast were organised weekly. In that way the students learned from some professionals’ experiences how to deal with the different tasks involving the administration and supervision of a hotel (or B&B) from its creation to the daily issues.

On this occasion, the students met the general manager of Bio Hotel Palermo (a structure using only local and organic products), the owner of the B&B L’Olivella (a family-run B&B created in a typical Sicilian house), the HR team of 3 historical luxury hotels (Hotel et des Palmes, Mercure Excelsior and the Ville Igiea), the owner and manager of the Boutique hostel and B&B ‘A casa di Amici’ and the creator of the initiative ‘Bed and Book’.

On the last day, the students introduced their projects with a Power Point in English to the rest of the group and their teacher who had to select the best project according to its originality and its feasibility.

The students who accomplished an internship in restaurants learned the basis of the Italian and Sicilian cuisine: they baked pizzas, cooked main Pasta recipes. They also improved their knowledge of cooking fishes and shellfishes which is typical of the Mediterranean tradition.

On the last day, the students had to broadcast a video featuring them cooking in the kitchen to the rest of the group and their teachers who elected a best video.

In both experiences, the students had to communicate in English and learned some basis of Italian language.

Motivation and aims:
The students’ mobility was the occasion to broaden their perspectives, discovering a new culture and dialoguing with local interlocutors. The project also aimed in improving their own skills and abilities in the proper field of studies and in English through the experience of being abroad.

Successes and lessons learnt:
After the 4 weeks of training and internship, the students were clearly more confident in English and in public speaking. Through their final presentations, the students expressed the value of the experience and the significance of perfecting their knowledges in Hospitality. The students appeared more striving regarding their studies and future career, they understood the feeling of being rewarded for reaching a goal and refining their skills. In this sense, they fully completed according to a scholar perspective a positive ‘work experience’. Finally, the group truthfully appreciated the human value of the cultural experience of discovering Italian and Sicilian customs.

Scalability and transferability:
The project of mobility for Hospitality students is easily replicated and presents the value of enriching participants minds and perspectives. Such project absolutely confirmed the value of the EU initiatives as Erasmus+.