Opportunities to learn French cookery this summer vacation

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With vacations approaching, you may be looking ahead to having more free time this summer. After 2 years of staying close to home, many students will be looking to travel further afield this year. If you’re not too tired of studying, one interesting option is to discover somewhere new whilst learning, gaining skills and meeting new people.

Whilst language courses in Europe are popular and a great choice, they’re not the only option. Cookery courses are another effective way to get immersed in the culture, practice your language skills and of course, boost your confidence in the kitchen. Known worldwide for its cuisine, France is the most obvious choice for cookery schools in Europe. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, read on to find out about some exciting cookery programs in France this summer.

As always when considering an overseas trip, it’s first important to find out about the entry requirements and visa policy. The good news is that travelers from many countries can go to France visa-free for up to 90 days. The Schengen Area policy means a visa for France from Hong Kong, the United States, Argentina, and more than 50 other visa-exempt countries is not required. The new European visa waiver, ETIAS, will be required to travel to Europe without a visa from May 2023.

Provided you are a passport holder from an eligible country and will take part in a short, recreational course, you should not need a visa (you should always check the requirements for your nationality and travel details). Note that a visa is required for formal and long-term studies in Europe.

Le Cordon Bleu, Paris

When talking about cookery courses in France, it seems logical to start with one of the most prestigious cookery schools in the world, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Despite being the place where professionals go to master the art of French cookery, Le Cordon Bleu also has a range of courses aimed at enthusiasts and home cooks. The school in Paris offers short-term summer courses and workshops ranging from basic cookery skills to pastry classes. Here are some of the mouth-watering programs on offer this summer:

  • The Art of Making Sauces and Jus—330 minutes
  • Traditional Bread Making—2 days
  • The Secrets of Choux Pastry—150 minutes

If you’re looking for something a little longer, you can take a look at the basic cuisine certificate. This program will teach you traditional culinary techniques and the preparation of basic dishes that you’ll be able to impress friends with back home. The course even includes an educational trip to a Parisian market to learn more about the products. This summer there is an intensive course from July 4 to August 12, 2022, or the standard course from July 4 to September 23, 2022.

Le Vie du Château Culinary Holidays

Le Vie du Château Culinary Holidays is another great option for a culinary vacation in France. You can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at the Château de La Barbée, located in the stunning Pays de la Loire. The cookery courses last 4 or 5 days. You’ll stay at the château with other participants and all your meals will be included. This makes it a good option if you want to control costs. They also run excursions to the surrounding countryside.

Of course, you’ll spend your days making traditional family recipes with your classmates, as well as learning about wine and food pairing. There is a focus on seasonal products from local farms. Lasting less than a week, you could include this trip on a longer stay in France or even other parts of Europe.

Institut Culinaire de France

If you want to focus on baking and patisserie, the Institut Culinaire de France could be a great option. Located in Bordeaux, this culinary course will provide you with the skills to make sweet treats and also explore this stunning area of France.

The Institut Culinaire de France offers a 2-month intensive course during the summer: 35 hours of practical work per week. Specialties include pastry, chocolate, and ice cream. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the one for you. You’ll be taught by expert pastry chefs in state-of-the-art kitchens and with the highest quality ingredients.

These are just 3 out of many options available across France. If it’s something you are interested in, make sure you do your research to find the course that’s right for you.


Here are some things you’ll want to take into consideration if you decide to head to France this summer:

  • Check whether you need a visa based on your nationality
  • Decide where in France you want to stay, and for how long
  • Choose a course that best suits your interests (and your budget)
  • Find out what’s included and, if necessary, arrange accommodation
  • Check France’s COVID-19 entry requirements

Most importantly, have fun, enjoy the experience, and learn useful cooking skills which will help you during your time as a student and beyond.