How do I Choose the Best International Culinary School?

Mandi R. Hall
Mandi R. Hall
Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.
Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.

If you are in the process of choosing an international culinary school, be sure to carefully weigh the various options available to you. If your goal is to become a chef, you can study to do so in your home country or anywhere else in the world that offers culinary programs to international students. Before choosing a culinary arts school, however, consider some criterion including cost, the cuisine you want to specialize in, and whether the school you choose will offer adequate hands-on training.

Hands-on training possibilities should be taken into account when considering international culinary schools.
Hands-on training possibilities should be taken into account when considering international culinary schools.

If it is important to you to attend culinary school outside of your home country, the first thing you must do is consider your finances. If you don’t have enough money to pay for international culinary school classes up front, research schools that have reputable financial aid programs. You may also want do research work permits once you secure a student permit in said country, in case there’s a possibility of a paid internship or part-time job.

Hands-on training is an excellent way to learn the culinary arts.
Hands-on training is an excellent way to learn the culinary arts.

Before delving into research on the best international culinary school, try conjuring up a list of your most essential decisive factors. If it is important to you to learn a specific ethnic cuisine, for example, you may consider an array of schools in that specific country. You may also need to consider learning the language that coincides with your preferred ethnic cuisine, as it may be essential to securing a career in that country later on in life.

Culinary schools teach the proper use of a variety of utensils.
Culinary schools teach the proper use of a variety of utensils.

Likewise, if you are interested in a food and beverage management program, consider an international culinary school that also runs a restaurant in which students work. Such schools often offer business management classes as well as hands-on culinary training. Being able to work with various currency will truly be beneficial if you plan to open a restaurant internationally someday.

Some international culinary schools specialize in haute cuisine, while others focus on simpler dishes that feature fresh ingredients.
Some international culinary schools specialize in haute cuisine, while others focus on simpler dishes that feature fresh ingredients.

The option of extensive hands-on training is very important when researching culinary schools. You may want to avoid schools that tout widespread amounts of book learning and rote memorization. Hands-on learning is very important when learning the culinary arts, as the only way to learn how to slice, dice, boil, and broil is to get in the kitchen and do it rather than read about it.

When comparing class and lab hours, be sure to pick an international culinary school that offers a vast amount of in-the-kitchen hours. Additionally, ask program directors what the chef-to-student ratio is in the classroom. Even if there is an abundance of in-the-kitchen hours described in the curriculum, having to compete for the professor’s undivided attention could be a problem.

When researching faculty at a potential international culinary school, try to find faculty who best mirror your interests. If you’re most interested in the field of charcuterie, for example, don’t choose a university with a faculty whose most flaunted specialties include vegetarian cuisine. If you find a program endorsed by a celebrity chef you have followed for years on television, check into the program to find out whether that chef actually teaches courses or simply supports them.

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    • Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.
      Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.
    • Hands-on training possibilities should be taken into account when considering international culinary schools.
      Hands-on training possibilities should be taken into account when considering international culinary schools.
    • Hands-on training is an excellent way to learn the culinary arts.
      Hands-on training is an excellent way to learn the culinary arts.
    • Culinary schools teach the proper use of a variety of utensils.
      Culinary schools teach the proper use of a variety of utensils.
    • Some international culinary schools specialize in haute cuisine, while others focus on simpler dishes that feature fresh ingredients.
      Some international culinary schools specialize in haute cuisine, while others focus on simpler dishes that feature fresh ingredients.