One of the most important things to consider about culinary schools is the campus lifestyle. After all, you’re going to be spending a good two to four years of your life there. What will your social life be like? What will the non-academic areas of your life be like? Will it be enjoyable or stressful?
Here are some of the most important things to know about the campus lifestyle.
Residence Halls, Dorms & Roommates
The college dorm experience is one of the most formative experiences of being in school. Different schools structure their living situations slightly differently.
Some will have large professional-grade kitchens available for students for their personal use. This encourages students to experiment with cooking different kinds of foods in their off time. Also, it encourages students to share recipes and cook with other students.
A dessert chef may be sharing a room with a French cuisine student. This allows both of them to get to know each other’s art and learn from one another, in addition to making a new friend.
The Joys and Pressures of Total Immersion
Many schools aim to create an atmosphere of total immersion. Schools do this in a variety of ways.
Culinary schools often have their own student operated restaurants. While cooking in this restaurant, you’ll get intense hands on experience in working in a busy kitchen. You’ll learn shortcuts to get things done quickly and you’ll gain valuable skills for working in the real world.
Much of what you need to know to work in the real culinary world is passed down from peers, as well as from your teachers in school. While you’re in culinary school, you’ll eat, breathe and sleep the art of preparing delicious foods.
Different Kinds of Culinary Schools Offer Different Lifestyles
The culinary school you choose has a big impact on your campus lifestyle.
If you’re going to a community college that happens to offer cooking classes, naturally you’re going to be much less immersed in cooking. Your friends may be studying other things and there won’t be nearly as much note-sharing around cooking.
On the other hand you have extremely dedicated culinary schools that focus just on cooking. Then you have everything in between. Some schools are only two years while others are four, some focus on one kind of cuisine while others focus on cooking in general, some have extensive real kitchen experience while others teach only in a classroom environment.
All of this will contribute to a different kind of lifestyle. Before choosing a culinary school, as yourself: What kind of lifestyle is important to you? Do you want to be able to relax after school and not think about cooking? Or do you want to spend your spare time refining your dishes and have all your friends also be immersed in the cooking world?