Experiencing a new culture through its food is one of the main reasons people love to travel. Each bite of each meal is a unique blend of tastes, smells, and textures. Getting the chance to intern abroad in culinary arts and cooking is a dream for many foodies, and one that should not be passed up. But, it is also an entirely enriching experience for those who aspire to turn culinary arts into a career.
Why Intern Abroad in Culinary Arts
To be able to actually learn about another culture’s cuisine and how to prepare it yourself is a great opportunity, that happens to be the goal of nearly every culinary internship abroad. Not only will you be able to try new foods and cooking techniques while interning abroad, you will also be able to take new skills home with you, that you can apply in your future career or in the comfort of your own home.
Interning abroad in culinary arts is more valuable than completing an internship in your home country, because you can explore a new culture and lifestyle while simultaneously learning about the local foods, cooking methods, and flavors. There is no better way to learn about the diverse methods of culinary arts and cooking than by actually immersing yourself in a new location.
Every place around the world offers different opportunities to explore the culinary arts and cooking. You should choose your location based on what you would like to focus on and learn during your culinary arts internship abroad. Some interns choose to go abroad to learn a specific new skill within the field, while others want some general training in a particular cuisine. The culinary arts span a wide range of skills, from choosing spices to cooking methods to food presentation, so you are sure to find a culinary arts internship abroad that is the best fit for you!
Internships in Europe offer some of the most classical culinary arts training in the world. Two of the most popular countries for culinary arts internships in Europe are France and Italy, in part because these nations are home to many top-level chefs and world renown cuisines. For example, those who choose a culinary arts internship in France may focus on pastries, while interns headed to Italy may have a desire to learn about homemade pastas or Italian coffee. Many interns choose to intern abroad in Europe because there tends to be many opportunities to learn about food and wine pairing.
Known as a cultural melting pot, the United States offers many culinary arts internship opportunities, covering a range of cuisines and cooking techniques. Interning in the U.S. may entail everything from learning the basics of cooking to working at a one Michelin star level (or higher) venue.
With Spanish becoming a more and more popular language, an increasing number of people are interested in gaining fluency. Culinary arts internships abroad in a Spanish speaking country are a perfect way to learn the Spanish language while gaining valuable culinary skills. Spain is a great location for culinary internships abroad due to its well-known, delicious dishes and proximity to other European countries. In South America, Panama has also become very popular for culinary internships abroad, due to various programs focused on farm-to-table aspects of cooking, such as organic farming and the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Certain countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Singapore, are also great places to intern abroad in the culinary arts, due to their exotic foods and infamous noodle dishes and spices. If you are interested in exploring dishes that are exploding with flavor and made of fresh market products from a local market, then Southeast Asia is the place for you!
Culinary Internships Abroad
Interns can expect to work in a variety of cooking placements, depending on their personal preferences and what internship provider they choose. Many international culinary internships are hosted by culinary institutes or restaurants, however there are also options outside of mainstream settings. Examples of culinary internships abroad include shadowing a chef, working on a farm, helping in a bakery, or assisting in food preparation at a hotel.
Working in a culinary institute or restaurant will most likely require the biggest commitment, as these are seen as the most prestigious places for culinary arts internships abroad. If you want to focus on a specific area of cooking or want to achieve a certificate, you will most likely need some experience (either academically or professionally) to be eligible to participate. This type of culinary arts internships abroad is ideal for someone who is seeking a bit of a challenge, with lots of rewards!
Working on a farm or in a bakery will be a more low-key internships placement. These are appealing to people who are looking for beginner level culinary internships, so chances are interns won’t be required to have any previous experience. Farms and bakeries tend to have a more laid back attitude, especially when compared to high end restaurants. Although, this does not mean that interns won’t need to work hard or won’t be learning a lot! On farms, interns can expect to work with animals, learn about farming techniques, and help with day to day operations of the farm. Those who intern in a bakery will come to know the daily processes required for a bakery to function effectively, as well as learn to maintain a bakery and work with customers and vendors.
Mastering the culinary arts (especially in a different country) is an intricate and tedious process, so most culinary internships abroad require at least a one-month commitment. However, many interns interested in the field devote a full semester or even a full academic year to their culinary internship abroad. Don’t forget to take into consideration the spoken language in your country of choice, although most culinary arts internships abroad will have flexible language requirements, some may require basic fluency in the local language.
Local Immersion. By becoming fluent in a country’s food, you will become savvier with its culture and get to know the local people. You will be able to connect with people by providing them with mouth-watering meals, and also making connections with the local chefs who may be teaching you.
Share The World. Upon completing your culinary internship abroad, you will be competent enough with cooking in a different country and will be able to share your expertise with others. Whether you are returning home or on to another country, you can share the knowledge you have gained and introduce it to more people around the world!