Brief description of the school
Hurtado de Mendoza is a Vocational School located in Granada, a town that holds over 250.000 inhabitants. The services sector and especially the Hospitality and Tourism industry is the backbone of the economy. The economic crisis, which is hitting the entire country, has raised the unemployment rate in Granada to over 30%. This unbearable rate is making the Hospitality and Tourism sector the only consolidated and prosperous industry. Granada has many important tourist attractions, such as the Alhambra (the most visited monument in Spain), the Cathedral, the Monastery of La Cartuja and the Albaycín, the old Moorish quarter of the city. There is also the ski resort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Tropical Coast, a 70km seaside with all the appeal and infrastructures of the Spanish Coasts.
Hurtado de Mendoza Vocational School was inaugurated in 1966, and has gone through several changes ever since. Currently, we have new facilities thanks to the last remodeling in 2008. The status of the school has changed over the years, as well, and now we are currently an “Integrated Center” which confers the school a reference role in Hospitality and Tourism education in Andalusia. The school is located in the Zaidín quarter, which has an immigration rate over the national average, thus Hurtado de Mendoza has students of 19 different nationalities. Among others we have students from Romania, Russia, Argentina, Morocco, Peru, Bolivia, Italy, France and Ecuador.
As it is stated above, this school specializes in Hospitality and Tourism Vocational Programmes, both Medium and Higher. Our students´ ages range from 15 to over 25. The Medium Programmes include “Culinary Arts”, “Bakery and Confectionery” and “Restaurant Services” while the Higher Programmes consist of “Travel Agent”, “Tour Guide” “Kitchen Operation Management”, “Restaurant Operations Management” and “Accommodation Management”.
Since year 2008/09 our bilingual programme is the response of our school to the traditional deficiencies of our students in the use of English as an instrumental language. In the tourism and hospitality sector foreign languages in general and English in particular are an essential tool which our students need to master. So far, we have one bilingual track of the Tour Guide programme in English, though the strategy of the Education Department hints at the possibility of expanding our bilingual programme over more tracks in the next years.
ICT are used in our Bilingual Programme in a broad range of activities, ICT have been playing a crucial role in our programme since we started, audiovisual materials are used to enhance the learning of both contents and English. Students have a powerful source of information and help at just one click and a useful tool that allows them to produce their projects in a very efficient way.
Our students do an internship period of three months after they finish with the programme at school.
That internship is part of the curriculum and they have to do it at companies that operate in the tourist information and guiding sector, such as sight seeing operators, museums, tourist information points, etc.