APPLYING TO CULINARY TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY SCHOOL

There are almost as many culinary, travel and hospitality programs out there as there are foods to savour or countries to explore. This variety of options means a variety of application requirements, since international students can study in culinary, travel and hospitality fields at the university, community college or private career college level. Some schools have limited-enrollment programs with competitive admission; others offer open admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, minimum entrance requirements can vary depending on the school and the program.

Admission to undergraduate university programs in culinary, travel and hospitality is typically competitive and admission is granted based on academic requirements, personal qualities and prior experience. International students can enter most bachelor's programs directly from high school, and ususally apply directly to the institute. Some programs may require a prior post-secondary diploma. University application also usually includes a non-refundable application fee of anywhere between $25-$100, as specified by the institution, as well as official high school transcripts and translations, if necessary. Intake is normally in September and January, but international students are advised to apply early for the more competitive programs. Academically, students must have completed Grade 12 with a certain grade (generally around 65-70%) in each of the required courses, which typically include English and math. Other courses may also be required, depending on the specific program. Some culinary, travel and hospitality departments have quota programs, where the pool of applicants exceeds the number of available spaces. An international student's overall academic average or Grade Point Average (GPA) is also considered, and the competitive GPA can change from year to year depending on the quality of the applicant pool and the number of places available. Additional potential requirements include reference letters, questionnaire, current résumé, proof of English proficiency, personal essay or letter of intent and health clearance. Work experience may also be considered in the application process.

Community colleges offer open admission, in which all applicants are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, community college certificate and diploma programs in culinary, travel and hospitality are also usually competitive--requiring Grade 12 completion with satisfactory standing in English and math--and generally follow application procedures similar to university programs. Career colleges differ in that some offer continuous enrolment with programs starting every month; others operate on a more traditional semester system with a fall and/ or winter intake. Many career colleges therefore have no cut-off dates for admission and instead process applications all year round. Others have specific deadlines after which applications are no longer considered. Both community colleges and career colleges with internal scholarships and bursaries for international students may encourage early application in order to qualify for these awards and financial assistance. At this level as well, application consists of an official application form (usually downloaded), a fee, transcripts, and any of the additional requirements mentioned above.

All international students considering applying to a culinary, travel and hospitality program at any level should check out the specific school website, or contact the school's Admissions or Registrar's Office, for all the details on application and admission.