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Which Culinary School Is Right For Me?

Dear Sugar
This is my second time writing to you. I am wondering if you know which culinary school I should go to; The Culinary Institute of America in New York City, or The Vitznau Lucerne Culinary School (Switzerland)? Chef Jeff

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Chef Jeff.
Welcome back. I certainly can't make this decision for you, but I can help you make the right choice for yourself by asking some tough questions. Since both schools are world renowned, I can't imagine that you would go wrong in either institution. Everyone should have this problem, right? It's like asking if you should go to Oxford or Harvard.

If I were you, I'd base my decision on 2 things:

  1. Where would you want to spend your time in school? Would you like to live in New York for the duration of your studies or would you like to be in Europe/Switzerland? Remember that school is an amazing experience that you will never forget. You should be somewhere that appeals to you.
  2. Do chefs recommend that you study where you would like to work and live? Are there opportunities for you to intern while you are in school? (Can they help place you in the city that you desire to live in?)

Once you can answer these tough questions I am sure you will have your answer. Good luck to you and please let me know when you open a restaurant. You've got my support with either of those credentials.

Join The Conversation
heatherp heatherp 10 years
think about the type of people you are going to meet. sometimes there is a cache to saying you studied abroad.
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
CIA isn't in NYC, it's in Hyde Park, which is a bit away from NYC. It's an excellent school, but first, you have to actually GET IN. That's not easy. I have a friend who waited three years to be accepted to CIA.
sanD13 sanD13 10 years
I've studied abroad before in Europe and it seriously is one of the best experiences I've ever had. I'd definitely encourage you to go abroad. You get the opportunity to pick up different languages and experience different cultures. Best of all, Switzerland is an absolutely GORGEOUS country. Not only that, surrounding countries are a train ride or a quick flight away. Best of luck to whichever you choose. I'm sure you'll be fine either way because it boils down to what you make of your college experience.
Arthur Arthur 10 years
An good old friend of mine went to the CIA in NYC and it did really well for her. She got placed at one of NYC's top restaurants, Restaurant Daniel. She was a really good cook before she went, but the school really polished her style.
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 10 years
NYC is pretty frickin expensive too, but I believe Switzerland is more so.
nicachica nicachica 10 years
I second EP! Going abroad is an experience not to be missed. Congrats on getting into both! One thing to note about Switzerland is that it is very expensive...but then again, so is NYC, so i guess it doesn't really matter! Also, i'd try and ask former students from both schools about their experiences there. The admissions office (or whatever the equivalent is) should be able to give you a few names. GOOD LUCK!
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 10 years
Switzerland is pretty sweet. If you would like to get experience abraod, there's no time like the present :)
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