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Preparing a successful Marco Polo year in Argentina

From his application to his daily life on the Vatel Buenos Aires Campus, Leonard tells us about his 2nd year in South America.


Preparing a successful Marco Polo year in Argentina

A good many Vatel students would like to do their 2nd year in the Marco Polo program on another Campus.

Because of his excellent 1st year results, a good level in Spanish and a high level of motivation for the program, Leonard Cadier’s application was accepted by Vatel Lyon’s Head of Studies.

Now back from Vatel Buenos Aires, he’ll tell us what he sees as most important for preparing a successful Marco Polo year. 

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Joining the Marco Polo program

“Without a doubt, jobs in the hospitality and tourism management industry that we study in Vatel can be done all throughout the world. So this is how I turned my cover letter for the application.

My goal was to show my school that I was aware of the challenges I’d have as well as the benefits I would reap from this experience.

Which is to say:

  • speaking Spanish not only at school but also in my everyday life,
  • discovering the Latin American culture,
  • having a long international experience to add to my resume,
  • getting to know another management style,
  • better understanding expectations of Spanish speaking guests,
  • preparing to manage teams of many different nationalities.”

 

Preparation of the year on another Campus

“It’s quite easy for students to go to Argentina. You just have to remember to take all the required papers, meaning your passport, police record, and birth certificate, and they give you the visa when you arrive.

One thing, however, to think about is the exchange rate in Argentina. There’s a parallel market on the streets, much better than what the banks give you. So I’d advise you to leave with euros or dollars in cash and then change them to pesos when you arrive.

For the trip itself, prices vary greatly, and can increase two or even three times.  It’s better to reserve a round trip right away. This means you have to decide before you leave if you’d like to do your second year internship in the country.

Vatel Buenos Aires gave me a lot of information on the country and the Campus to help me prepare my year at their School.  For example, they advised me to wait until I arrived to chose my accommodations to avoid a bad surprise. I spent 3 days in a hostel but it only took me two days to find a studio and I didn’t have any problems with the owner.

Two days later, I went to the School to introduce myself, find my schedule and meet members of administration. Everyone was really great.”

 

The same Vatel courses in a different cultural context

Buenos AiresIn your second year, whether you’re in your Home School or another Vatel Campus, the only thing that changes is the environment. For example, in theoretical courses, I studied hotel laws and management just like my classmates in Lyon, but applied to Argentina.

I had classes in the morning and other ones in the evening with another group, so I got to meet even more people!

There was a great atmosphere on the Campus and the Vatel team was always available if I needed something. From our profs to the administrative staff, they were always there to answer any questions, even to do so in French if we needed that. The Marco Polo contact person was introduced to us upon arrival.

Actually though, I felt so well taken care of that I didn’t even have any questions to ask him.

And that’s how I was safely able to immerse myself completely in this country and acquire, by myself, all the best practices I’d need in the streets of Buenos Aires. Meaning to be very careful both in the evening as well as during the day, because there are a lot of pickpockets.

On the flip side, I was able to use very cheap transportation and take advantage of living in the largest student city in Latin America. Student life has a lot going on both at night and during the day, it’s easy to meet people from other nationalities and there are loads of things to do: plays, shows, festivals, etc.

I’ll be really happy to return to Argentina, but also to visit the country and South America more thoroughly. It has a host of exceptional sites to see.”

Have you got any other questions to ask Leonard on his Marco Polo experience? You can reach him here:l.cadier@vatel.fr He’ll be happy to answer you. 

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