Imagine sitting down at an outdoor cafe eating a new meal for the first time. The joy we feel when we try something new is just what Marco felt when he landed in France for his internship. Food is the center of our understanding of the world; it invites incredible conversations, builds relationships, and, of course, nourishes our bodies.
It is every Chef’s dream to travel the world and have the opportunity to learn the culinary practices of different cultures across the globe.
Chef Marco traveled to France for an immersive culinary program with CICD. He has returned with wonderful insights into the culinary world, and with even bigger dreams for the future.
CICD provides participants incredible hospitality experiences. From programs on the island of Mauritius to the South of France, we offer the culinary experience of a lifetime.
Read on to find out how Chef Marco’s dream became a reality:
Why did you decide to participate in an international exchange program?
“I believe travel is a must on the bucket list of any chef. I think it’s important to experience different kitchen environments and learn from them. My dream has been to travel around the world and get into as many kitchens as possible to be able to build on my skills and my understanding of food and culture.”
Which local customs will you/did you bring home with you?
“I lived in France in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic; it was a scary time for sure, being in a foreign country away from family and friends, while the entire world appeared to crumble. It was quite an experience. I admire the respect for the new norms during the quarantine, how the French people respected the rules of social distancing, how they maintained solidarity, and kept the peace. It was nice to know I could go to the market and find what I needed without sensing that people were panicking over the current situation.”
What aspects of your program have impacted you the most?
“Culture shock. Some positive and some negative, as you would find in every new place you visit. It’s interesting how different things can be from one country to another, or even from one city to another within the same country. It’s a valuable experience.”
Explain how your program abroad has influenced your current role.
“The whole experience changed me as a person and as a professional. I see things from a totally different perspective. I experience life now in a very different way and I can say I grew a few years older mentally. I was able to experience the environment of working in a 3 Michelin-star restaurant; I learned the pros and the cons, and I’ve acquired a different point of view on food and cooking. Although this experience hasn’t redefined who I am as a chef, I know the experience will form part of my structure.”
What was the most useful thing you learned abroad on your program?
“Food ethics was one of the most valuable lessons I got to experience in this program. I worked in an area where exotic seafood was delivered fresh out of the boat, still alive. It was beautiful to see how the restaurant and the local fisherman formed a close alliance and aid each other, especially through the turbulent times of the COVID 19 pandemic.”
What are your future goals?
“To keep traveling, to keep my knife roll ready to embark on more culinary adventures, to learn from other cultures, and keep honing my skills. My goal in 5 years is to become a reputable chef and to open my own restaurant in about 10 years.”
Ready to get started?
France is a great country for your international adventure – but France is not your only option! CICD International Programs offers amazing opportunities around the world. Find an internship abroad that matches your interests!
If you would like to learn more about our international culinary and hospitality programs, please complete our inquiry form.