A Seychellois student was the best overall academic performer at Shannon College in Ireland for 2017.
Shylla Auguste, 26, completed a Bachelor's Degree in Business Studies and International Hotel Management at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, a recognised college of the National University of Ireland.
She was among 12 female Seychellois students to graduate at a ceremony held on Thursday, March 8.
Auguste said it is an honour to have emerged as the best academic performer out of 71 students from various countries.
"The greatest achievement is to have been able to make myself, my family and my country proud despite the challenges and having to adapt to a new surrounding away from home," she said.
The principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune said, "Auguste has done herself, the country, her family and the Seychelles Tourism Academy proud through this achievement."
The 26-year-old added that "this achievement would not have been possible without the support of my family, friends and lecturers, from both Shannon College and the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA). Despite the challenges, the journey has been extremely rewarding and will surely help to shape me into the manager I want to be someday," she added."
Auguste said that she has always been interested in the field of tourism where there are endless opportunities for career development.
The new graduate is currently undergoing an internship in Ireland until December and is looking forward to pursuing a career in the hospitality industry upon her return to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
This is not the first time a Seychellois student emerged as the overall best academic performer for the same course at the Shannon College. Rose-May Lavigne and Medna Latulipe achieved the same feat in 2013 and 2016, respectively.
Auguste was part of the 6th cohort from Seychelles to study at the Shannon College after the signing of an agreement in 2008 between Seychelles Tourism Academy and the College.
Through the agreement, Seychellois students have to follow an Advanced Diploma in hospitality management at the local Tourism Academy for three years and then move to Ireland for one year to obtain their Bachelor's Degree.
A Seychellois delegation led by the principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, was also in Ireland at the same time to review the cooperation between the two hospitality training institutions.
"The Seychelles' Government is making a worthwhile investment in these students and in return, we must ensure that we see the fruits of these investments," said Lafortune according to a statement from the Tourism Academy.
She added that the Seychelles Tourism Academy in partnership with the Shannon College has an extensive programme in place for students to acquire both technical skills and academic knowledge, followed by hotel exposure, both nationally and internationally.