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French Leave

French Leave

Two Lower Hutt women are off for an adventure of a lifetime – in France. Melissa Magee from Wainuiomata and Aimee Keane from Korokoro are going to study at French hospitality school Les Sorbets for six weeks.

The exchange between Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Les Sorbets was established in 2004. WelTec recently hosted French students on their visit here and last month, students of cookery, food and beverage service and patisserie at WelTec prepared applications to be part of the return exchange. The selection was made by an independent advisory group based on attitude, attendance, ability and commitment. Aimee, a cookery student, and Melissa, studying Food and Beverage Service were chosen and take off on 19 June. They will be accompanied by Food and Beverage tutor Peter Bessling.

WelTec Hospitality Programme Manager Stephen Pope says that Melissa and Aimee put forward strong applications. “They are also outgoing people who weren’t shy to put themselves forward in the interview,” says Stephen. “This will help them a lot in France.”

Melissa says her dream is to have her own business and feels the exchange will help by exposing her to a different culture and lifestyle. “I know it will be the experience of a lifetime,” says Melissa.

Aimee says that while her focus will be on school she’s keen to check out some of the other things that France is famous for. “I’ll have to check out the fashion as well as the food,” says Aimee.

Asked why they came to WelTec they both agree that there are huge benefits to being able to do both certificate and diploma programmes in one year. “I can get the qualifications I need for my business out of the way in one year,” says Melissa.

Tutor Peter Bessling will be teaching at Les Sorbet. “Well, educating them about New Zealand and Southern Hemisphere wines,” says Peter. “I will also be doing research on vineyards. Seriously. It’s my work. And I will be there to ensure that our students have the most positive learning experience possible.”
As well as the Les Sorbets exchange there are a number of other international work experience opportunities available for WelTec hospitality students – including The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa and soon the Cessa University in Mexico.


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