BC School Touring

Joined Dec 4, 2009
I started a thread a while back looking into two culinary schools: George Brown College (Toronto) and Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA in Vancouver): LINK

As I formerly wrote, I got accepted into both. However, I think my focus at this point is on attending a culinary program in BC (Vancouver). So I want to expand my options further than just PICA in this area now.

I looked into two other campuses in BC. Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Art Institute of Vancouver (AIV).

I've visited Vancouver a few times in the past, so I am somewhat familiar with the environment, however I have booked a 4-day trip up to Vancouver for early April to look at all three campuses. I figure if I get a look at the campuses (PICA, AIV and VCC) for myself and talk to people directly during the tours, that might help me settle on a decision about where I'd like to attend and/or apply.

Aside from the other 2 campuses in BC that I'll be checking out, all PICA needs is a deposit from me in order to begin the next term since I've been accepted but I am not sure if I want to go with that program. It is only 6 months and I am coming in without any commercial kitchen experience. I'm willing to take a stab at going into a program directly. I know it is best that I have some experience first. However, I am interested in a program that is a bit longer. At least a year...so that I might adapt to what I'm learning as I go, time-wise. I also would like a chance to work while I attend school and I'd love to be able to work in BC or Canada in general after I am done with school. So a 6 month program doesn't give me much time to set any connections up for an opportunity like that or to allow time for me to work.

I'll be an international student, too. I am in Los Angeles, Calif.

Any reviews or thoughts on any of these campuses? Especially VCC? Also, I still have an acceptance offer from George Brown College. I checked online through OCAS, and I saw for sure I got in. I haven't responded back to the acceptance yet, as I am still leaving that open, just in case. I have until May to either confirm or deny the acceptance to GB.

But first, I'd like to check out these campuses next month in Vancouver and figure out what I might do there.

In the states, community colleges are looked at and regarded a bit differently. I know a lot of students attend certain community colleges here in California quite often. It is cheaper, a great way to be able to immigrate while contributing to the local economy and finding work after studies. One of the biggest CCs that does this here is Santa Monica College. They have a huge foreign student body and great transfer rates to 4 year universities...and some of their programs are good on their own. However, SMC is more of an exception among community colleges.

I know I'll be learning more about VCC when I visit, but wondering if anyone here has any further reviews on their baking and pastry arts programs? Especially compared to PICA and AIV, which are more well-known?
Joined Dec 4, 2009
I will also add that this article kind of made me somewhat nervous. I don't want to be too swayed by what's written, but makes me feel more like I really need to choose the right place to do a baking and pastry arts program.  Here is the article. It goes into detail later therein about culinary school programs and job/financial/debt dilemmas:


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