CAMPUS

Conquering Vatel

A Romanian who speaks fluent French after only a year and a half, Maria Borcila tells us why she wanted to go to Vatel.


Conquering Vatel

What did you do before attending Vatel Lyon?
I learned a lot at Piatra Neamt high school, in Romania. I was in a good class, a scientific one, with a stimulating environment. My classmates and myself always wanted to exceed ourselves, for instance studying abroad. 


Why did you choose Vatel?
I discovered my vocation for hotel management when I was in 11th grade in high school, when one of my teachers invited her son, the Vatelien Sabin Costea (a 2015 alumnus) to talk about his experience. I was sure of it: I was made for hospitality and hospitality was made for me! Sabin Costea supported me and led the way. I learned how to speak French with a great teacher, Ms. Ciobanu, who gave me self-confidence and taught me this beautiful language in just a year and a half.
In Romania however, when you study hospitality, there isn’t much practical experience, whereas in this field, it’s the name of the game. So I wanted to attend Vatel to learn with a mixture of theoretical courses and practical experience. When I started, I appreciated the people-oriented skills the school promotes, and the group’s international dimension, federated around shared values: competence, elegance and solidarity.


You’re in your second year of your Bachelor at Vatel Lyon: why did you decide to go here?
It was sure for me: I wanted to do my courses in French, have French friends, and do a real cultural immersion. Also, at Vatel Lyon, you’ve got practical application weeks at the application restaurant in the school and at partner hotels: that allows me to discover several types of hotels, and it’s really interesting. And support from school management is really important: as a foreign student, they take good care of me.


Tell us more about this experience.
Settling in was my greatest challenge in my first year. I quickly realized that being able to speak the language was only the very beginning of the adventure: everything else (values, ideals, ways of thinking, etc.) could only be assimilated by experiencing them on a daily basis. The school facilitate this process, with for instance, sponsorship between students, the rotation of students during practical application weeks or events organized by the Student Services department. I know however that even though I’m settled in, I’ve still got a lot of things to learn.
My daily life includes diversity, curiosity and studying, which I love. I’m so grateful that my family allowed me to live my dream and thank them for their long-distance support. 


Any advice you’d like to give to candidates who would like to study at Vatel?
I’d advise them to nourish their passion, to hone their interest and to cultivate their curiosity. To be completely fulfilled, these three elements go hand in hand with determination, work and consistency. Once you’re accepted at Vatel, everyone is in a game where it’s a win-win situation, you just have to abide by the rules.


A few words about your blog that will begin in January...
At Vatel I learned one essential thing: knowing how to convey knowledge. I’m launching a blog to convey all the tips I myself received. It will be based on Vatel: tips for candidates, advice for students, sharing experience, without forgetting my insight as an international student in Lyon