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Centennial College launches Italy-Canada exchange


December 15, 2017
By Canadian Pizza

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Toronto – Centennial College’s culinary arts program is launching a new student-exchange partnership with IFSE (Italian Food Style Education) culinary school in Turin, Italy.

There are three components to the exchange:

1. Centennial culinary students, accompanied by chefs from the college, will go to IFSE for a two-week intensive Italian food experience.

2. IFSE students will come to Centennial for a three-week school term and an eight-week restaurant experience where they will work and learn in Toronto.

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3. Centennial students will go to IFSE for a three-week school intensive program and an eight-week restaurant experience where they will working and learn in Italy.

“All of these opportunities will be life-changing for those involved, truly experiential with taste, culture and learning at the core,” said Suzanne Caskie, chair of culinary arts in the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. Caskie organized the program jointly with the school’s dean, Joe Baker and IFSE instructor Chef Ugo Mura.

Participating students pay the extra cost to take part in the exchange, she said. Some subsidization is available in the form of grants and scholarships. Those who complete the program receive a special designation.

There is also a work visa option for Centennial College’s international students.

Both schools have unique offerings and are hoping to do more of these exchange programs, Caskie said. They hope to start the program with in September 2018.

Caskie spoke with Canadian Pizza about students’ aspirations for joining the restaurant industry during work placements and after graduation.

While many students choose to work in the college’s onsite restaurant The Local, the college works with hundreds of externship placement partners to help students find work placements, she said.

“There is a varied audience of students. There are some mature students who love food and want to own their own business. Others are just looking for work at smaller places with not a lot of turnover. They want to be part of a team and be respected.”

Culinary students have curiosity, are very aware of the opportunities out there and often have a four- or five-year plan, she added. “They are respectful of honing their craft.”

Through the culinary placement programs, students make a connection with industry, Caskie said: “They just know that they like it, they’ve found their community.”