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The Goa-Portuguese connect

As part of the collaboration between VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education, Raia and Turismo de Portugal, a group of Portuguese students from various hospitality schools in Portugal, were recently hosted in Goa

A group of 12 Portuguese students accompanied by faculty member chef Nelson Carvalho were recently hosted by VM Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE), Raia as a part of their educational tour focused on the exchange of culture and knowledge between the two nations. They were from various hospitality schools operated and managed by Turismo de Portugal.

The collaboration between VMSIIHE and Turismo de Portugal offers an exciting opportunity for the students to gain insights into the culinary culture of the region while also exploring the landscapes and heritage of Goa.

The students’ visit at the institute began with a welcome dinner held in the presence of consul general of Portugal in Goa, António Chrystêllo Tavares.

An interesting and eventful calendar for the students was prepared, allowing them to experience the best of culinary culture combined with educational field trips to give them a taste of Goan culture, history and hospitality.

Among the many activities, the students attended practical and theoretical sessions on traditional Indian and Goan cuisine which were conducted by chef Sebastian Breitinger, chef Sujatha Madhavan and chef Sandip Madkaikar of VMSIIHE. They tried their hand at making Indian snacks, especially street food and the wonderful Indian biryani which is loved by many. The institute also organised a culinary masterclass on Goan cuisine where the delegation learned to create culinary dishes unique to the state of Goa.

They also visited the local Margao market to understand more about the fresh local produce available in the state, and were able to view local fruits and vegetables, heaps of spices and observe the workings of the busy fish market.

On a field trip deep into south Goa, the students visited the Paul John Distillery at Cuncolim where they were introduced to the finer nuances of whiskey making.

A visit to the spice farm in Ponda saw the students enjoying authentic local Goan cuisine and learning about spices grown in Goa.

A trip down history with a tour of the majestic churches at the Old Goa heritage site was also on the cards to take in the history of the state which was under Portuguese regime for many years. The students also visited the palatial and recently restored Figueiredo mansion in Loutolim.

Taking time out from their busy schedule the students ventured off to enjoy a beautiful day at the Benaulim beach along with director/principal, VMSIIHE, Irfan Mirza.

The trip to Goa had to be cut short as the students had to travel back to Portugal on short notice. Their last evening in Goa was an emotional one as they bid farewell to their friends in Goa. The institute organised a wonderful dinner with soulful fado music. Goan fadista Nadia Rebellos accompanied by Fatima Figueiredo and Omar De Loiola Pereira belted out fados and popular tunes to the appreciation of many.

VMSIIHE recently renewed and extended the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Turismo de Portugal during the visit of President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to Goa.

Besides knowledge exchange programmes between the two countries, the MoU will now also include collaborative efforts in internships designed to strengthen a student’s learning experience by integrating on-campus studies with closely related work experience at reputed starred hotels.

Additionally, students can now seek opportunities of employment in Portugal, and on successful completion of the degree programme may consider appropriate avenues for placement to graduating students.

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