Cooking School

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Cooking School

Postby Tituba » Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:16 pm

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Re: Cooking School

Postby Annalena » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:14 am

Couple of thoughts on this one:

1- Does sound good indeed. I oftentimes wonder, though, if people are aware that working in hospitality, especially running any kind of hotel/restaurant (cooking school may be a different story) is very hard work BEFORE they start something like this.

(We have a show on German tv called "Goodbye Germany- the expats". About 90% of the people want to open a beach bar. Needless to say about 85% percent are back within a year).

2- I think they are very right about "keeping up the American spirit of hard work". Living abroad is not (necessarily) and extended vacation. People tend to misinterpret that.

3- It kind of bothers me though Americans staying within their own circles instead of trying to get involved in local culture. It's, of course, great for the American couple, that it works. But it reminds me of the "study abroad" programs in university:

Ours were like this: You go to a country for 1 or 2 semesters by yourself, live there with the locals, attend their school, learn or improve the language. Credits are a nice-to-have, but it's about experience. You organize accommodation yourself, all classes are in the country's Native language.

There I went to Florida for a year through a school program. (Columbia, Mexico, Sweden were also in the running).

My Florida school's "study abroad" programs were like this: You go on a 6 week trip in summer (so you won't miss any classes) with your classmates, and take your own professor(s). Accommodation is organized, all classes are in English. Credit is most important. You take organized excursions with your professors.

While I understand the need for efficiency, you'll never experience real local life that way.

*Edit: I know this all sounds so negative! But it's really just what crossed my head reading this! :)
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Re: Cooking School

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:25 am

I started subscribing to that website's newsletter (international living dot com), because I was interested when I started seeing articles on Yahoo or somewhere about retiring outside the US. But, after awhile, they can only spit out only so many places when it becomes repetitive, so I cancelled the newsletter, but of course I can still go to the website.

There were places where you can live fairly well on just USA social security (at least as it is now), they were "American-friendly", sometimes even used the US $, and had pretty good health care. Some were in Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Southern France, China, etc. I suppose you could also get a cabin up in Northern Wisconsin near a hospital town and live the same way, too, I don't know. It was a lot cheaper up there when I used to live there than it is where I live now.

I thought of a couple other things, too when I read about starting a cooking school. Well, a third other thing too, "everyone" wants to be a chef (look at all the cooking shows on competitions on TV).

I knew a runner in my group many years ago who left for the Bahamas to start a dive shop. I've been in those dive shops down there and it is really cool to be in there and look at all the stuff (kind of like being in a running store :) ). Well, he left with great fan fare (he was very popular, a local teacher, etc.). Within two years he was back and I think got another teaching job. "Everyone" wants to start a diving shop down there, too.

Then, speaking of the local cultures, the same could be said for the "newer" cultures that come over to the States, in general (not all do this), but they all still hang out with each other and speak their native language among themselves. So, it goes both ways, I think it's human nature for most humans (heck, even the long term cultures IN the US still hang out with each other and speak their same language).

One woman at work I met just before going on my Paris trip years ago, she was fluent in French and had gone over to France to study for a year, I think it was. She had gotten a job as an Au Pair. She said while all her friends and classmates, after school, went out together and spoke English, she went back to her family and spoke French. She spent a lot of time with the family going on weekend trips, dinners, outings, etc. She ended up becoming very good at French while her classmates of course were only "taught-fluent", i.e. just knew what they knew from school.

Anyhow, back to cooking schools, it all comes down to supply and demand. With very popular artistic and other "romantic" careers, you just have to realize that there are lots people want to do that too, and the competition will be strong. So, if making money is foremost on your mind, then it might not happen. Of course if cooking is really what you want to do, you should do it. Even at a small scale or a hobby, it would still be fun.
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