A student based in Paisley is cooking her way around the world – starting with Switzerland and America.

Patrycja Malcharczyk has just completed her HNC Hospitality at West College Scotland’s Paisley campus, and in the past 6 months not only has she been lucky enough to secure a work experience trip to Lausanne in Switzerland, but shortly she will be jet setting off to Massachusetts!

Patrycja, 22 from Poland who originally studied ESOL at the College told us how she came to Scotland to improve her studies.

She said, “I was studying in Poland – but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to study something different and came to the UK – the Scottish education system is much better than back home and I was excited about what my future may look like.

“One of my first waitress jobs when I came to Scotland was working at Marco Pierre Whyte’s as a waitress and I loved it. That’s why I applied for the course in Paisley. In the future, I’d like to have my own chain of coffee shops. Maybe in Edinburgh as I’ve applied for the 2nd year of Hospitality Management in Edinburgh Queen Margaret University.”

She admits that working hard and having secured excellent work experience placements at College has assisted her dream to continue her Hospitality studies at University.

Patrycja talks about her work experience over the past few months at West College Scotland. The first being a visit to Lausanne in Switzerland earlier on this year.

She said: “We were told about the opportunity by our class lecturers, I applied and explained why I wanted to go and before I knew it I’d received word my lecturer and I had been successful! I was so excited. There were hundreds of applications submitted and there were only 15 people selected.”

Hospitality Lecturer Chris Watson, added: “The application which was very strict and we were all delighted to find out we could go and represent the college. There were only 3 lecturers allowed to go in the whole of Scotland – so it was just as exciting for me to be able to go too! It was a wonderful opportunity and a real eye opener to see how schools like this operate.”

Patrycja and Chris flew out to Switzerland for 4 days and spent two of those days in the 5 star School of Hotel and Tourism Management in Lausanne – the first teaching and research hotel of its kind in the world.

Patrycja said: “I really enjoyed the whole experience and getting to know students from other countries. The whole thing was so interesting and everyone that we met looked so professional.”

Chris added: “From a teaching point of view it was great to see how they delivered the course units. The cook school was phenomenal – you could lift it up and pop it on the banks of Loch Lomond and it’d be amazing. There were other lecturers there from Dundee and Angus and Edinburgh – so it was good to get their take on it all.”

Patrycja’s jet setting doesn’t finish there though – and her next adventure is a work placement opportunity in the United States at the prestigious Sankaty Head Golf Club alongside one of her classmates Jamie Cracknell.

Patrycja said: “My Curriculum and Quality Leader, Carol Gaffney came to class and told us about this opportunity of working in Massachusetts and I was desperate to go. Carol knows the manager and he mentioned he’d like to have students working there for the summer to improve their knowledge.

“We were to get in touch with him directly. He did an interview over the phone on FaceTime and asked about my experience and my skill set.

Anyway, the interview went well and I’m flying over in June to the end of September to be a waitress and food and beverage assistant alongside my class mate Jamie.”

If you’d like to know more about our Hospitality and Professional Cookery courses starting this August at West College Scotland, click here.