Florence University of the Arts: Career Certificate
Culinary Arts – Commis Chef
Career Certificate

AISH Career Certificate programs are subject-intensive programs offering pre-determined coursework for a full immersion and professional experience in a particular field. Career Certificate programs are open to traditional undergraduate students as well as nontraditional students interested in pursuing a new career path. The AISH Career Certificate program in Culinary Arts is a Year 2 specialization that follows Year 1’s introduction to Food, Wine & Wellness. This Year 2 specialization in Culinary Arts builds upon the foundation year, and provides a specialized understanding of ingredients, technical skills, and Italian culture to earn a Career Certificate in Culinary Arts - Commis Chef.


SAI Services
SAI 360° & Select Services available

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form

*Alternative Academic Year start dates possible, please contact admissions to inquire.

Application open until: May 15
Apps accepted on a rolling basis

Program Dates
2023/24: Aug 29, 2023 – May 10, 2024
2024/25: Aug 27, 2024 – May 10, 2025
Dates may vary as a result of add-ons


Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Subject Experience: To enroll directly into Year 2 (bypassing Year 1), students must demonstrate previous experience (see Details & Program Overview).

English Language: Non-native English language speakers must submit TOEFL: 500+ (paper-based), IELTS: 5+, OOPT: 50+, or equivalent.

Academic Year: High school graduate or above.



Coming soon

Program Overview
The Year 2 specialization program in Culinary Arts – Commis Chef allows students to progress in the gastronomy field, and is structured to give students an understanding of Italian culture as well as the technical means to become professionals in the Culinary Arts field. The Year 2 specialization includes a block set of courses that build on the foundational year in Food, Wine & Wellness (Year 1), however, students can choose to enroll directly into Year 2 if they meet certain prerequisites (see Prerequisites below). An advanced Master Certificate in Culinary Arts – Chef de Partie (Year 3) is also available for students who wish to further advance their studies and skills.

Program Objectives
The Year 2 specialization in Culinary Arts will broaden students’ knowledge of Italian gastronomy and nutrition, offering a rigorous focus on techniques, direct experience, and understanding of the Mediterranean identity. Courses will hone skills and knowledge of professional cooking techniques, plating, traditional Italian ingredients, and the physiology of taste and the science of cooking, combined with experiential learning opportunities within the school’s CEMI (Community Engagement Member Institutions), internal internship placements within the school run restaurant and bakery, Ganzo and Fedora. These institutions are open to the local community, allowing for students to directly apply their skills and knowledge to real-life situations. Throughout the program, students are mentored by accomplished faculty who directly represent the culinary and Italian gastronomy industry.

Career Opportunities
The program focuses on both production and individualized skills necessary to find gainful employment in a wide variety of positions. Possible career opportunities include commis chef in high-end restaurants or hotels, demi-chef de partie, recipe developer for international companies, representative/agent for specialty food distributions, kitchen and nutritionist consultant, food stylist, or private chef.

Duration and Certification
Students complete two consecutive terms for a full academic year. Students who complete the full academic year will earn a certificate in Culinary Arts- Commis Chef, with the exception of students who enroll in the Direct Access Track (see Prerequisites, below), who will instead receive an official letter from Apicius confirming their completion of the program, along with a transcript. All students receive undergraduate course credit and a US transcript issued by the University of South Florida upon successful completion.

Prerequisites
Year 2: To enroll in this Year 2 specialization in Culinary Arts, students can either continue after completion of the Year 1 Food, Wine & Wellness program, or, begin directly in Year 2 by meeting the requirements below. For either option, students must have a high school diploma and be fluent in English.

Students wishing to begin directly in Year 2 without completing Year 1, can do so in the following ways:

  • Providing proof of completion of the courses equivalent to the Year 1 program (transcript required).
  • Direct Access Track: those with no prior academic background or experience can complete 2 pre-determined courses during the sessions prior to the start of the Year 2 program (see Courses).

Year 3: Students wishing to further advance their studies after Year 2 with an Advanced Master Certificate in Baking and Pastry can continue on to Culinary Arts – Chef de Partie

Optional Internships (fee applies)
Students who complete a full academic year can supplement their program with either a non-credit 3 week internship or a 3-credit 6 week internship in their field of study. This internship can be added in the session after the regular program has ended.  Contact SAI for more details.

Optional Italian Language (fee applies, except for Direct Access Track students)
Career Certificate program students can supplement their program with a 3-week, 3 credit intensive Italian Language course that takes place prior to the fall and spring sessions. Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of intensive Italian language are offered. *Direct Access Track students’ supplemental tuition already includes this optional language course.

The Culinary Arts – Commis Chef specialization offers a Fall, Spring, or Summer start date, and comprises two consecutive terms to create a full academic year. Each semester includes a set of four 3-credit courses and one 6-credit course. There is also a 1-credit Health and Safety Seminar at the beginning of the first semester. In addition, there is a mandatory non-credit experiential learning project during the January intersession, and the experiential learning projects during the semester intersessions, where indicated, are also mandatory.

The Year 2 Culinary Arts specialization courses are:

Fall Semester
Professional Cooking III: Italian Creative Cuisine and Decoration
Tradition of Italian Food II
Baking Techniques II: Italian Pastry Techniques
Cooking Light: Contemporary Techniques for Healthy Living
The Science of Cooking: An Introduction to Molecular Cuisine

January Intersession
Mandatory: Special Project Experiential Learning
Optional: Intensive Italian Language

Spring Semester
Nutritional Cooking
Food and Beverages Operations and Management Experiential Learning
Physiology of Taste and Flavor Experiential Learning
Worldwide Cuisine Experiential Learning
Precision Cooking and Texture Development

For the full detailed course descriptions please contact us.

Direct Access Track: Students who enroll in the Direct Access Track will complete two predetermined courses in the two, 3-week short sessions prior to the start of their program:

Introduction to Professional Cooking
Tradition of Italian Food

For further information regarding direct access track please contact SAI admissions.

Career Certificate program students are offered the choice between SAI’s two services models: 360° Services, which includes our full services and housing; and Select Services, designed for more independent students and no housing. The program fee differs for the two service models (see Fees & Budgeting).

SAI 360° Services includes our full services!

  • Program tuition and U.S. academic credit
  • Accommodation in carefully selected student housing
  • Airport pickup on arrival day
  • Welcome reception and events
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • On-site staff who foster a welcoming community and provide assistance when needed
  • SAI Viva Experience: cultural engagement, excursions & wellness activities
  • FUA meal plan sample pack
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support
  • Farewell event

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Knowledgeable Admissions Counselor dedicated to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Parent & family resources
  • Online student groups to acquaint you with other SAI students
  • Student visa advising
  • Assistance with financial aid processing
  • Need-based SAI scholarships
  • Alumni Ambassador Program, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI Select Services includes the important on-site services!

  • Program tuition, with U.S. academic credit
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Knowledgeable Admissions Counselor dedicated to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Parent & family resources
  • Student visa advising
  • SAI alumni network

Please see the following links for up-to-date calendar information:

Academic Year 2023/24 pdf (154KB)
Academic Year 2024/25 pdf (154KB)
Direct Access 2024/25 pdf (154KB)

Financial Processing and Loans
To make a Career Program abroad more achievable, SAI is able to offer US students the ability to obtain a private loan through St. Martin’s University to pay for their program. As you reach the point of enrollment, the SAI Business Office can provide assistance with financial processing, as well as student loan applications. Please contact your SAI Admissions Counselor for details about the student loan process.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
$600
Program Fee: Academic Year 2023/24 (360° Services)
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
$23,225
Program Fee: Academic Year 2023/24 (Select Services)
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
$13,285
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Direct Access Track (2 pre-semester courses)
Includes SAI Select Services, and optional intensive Italian or English language course.
contact SAI
Optional Private Room Housing Supplement (360° Services)
Private occupancy bedroom in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
$3,350
Optional 3 week Italian Language Course
Before regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Non-Credit Internship (3 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional 3 Credit Internship (6 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Price varies by private/shared occupancy and meals.
contact SAI
St. Martin's University Loan Processing Fee
Applicable to those wishing to utilize SAI’s US School of Record to obtain a loan for their program.
$1,000
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$90

*prices are subject to change

Financial Processing and Loans
To make a Career Program abroad more achievable, SAI is able to offer US students the ability to obtain a private loan through St. Martin’s University to pay for their program. As you reach the point of enrollment, the SAI Business Office can provide assistance with financial processing, as well as student loan applications. Please contact your SAI Admissions Counselor for details about the student loan process.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
$600
Program Fee: Academic Year 2024/25 (360° Services)
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Program Fee: Academic Year 2024/25 (Select Services)
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional Private Room Housing Supplement (360° Services)
Private occupancy bedroom in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
Coming soon
Optional 3 week Italian Language Course
Before regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Non-Credit Internship (3 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional 3 Credit Internship (6 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Price varies by private/shared occupancy and meals.
contact SAI
St. Martin's University Loan Processing Fee
Applicable to those wishing to utilize SAI's US School of Record to obtain a loan for their program.
$1,000
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$90

*prices are subject to change

Housing is only included in SAI 360° Services programs. Students selecting SAI Select Services are responsible for securing their housing independently.

Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (option to upgrade to private bedroom, if available). Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of private and shared bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless Internet. Housing configurations are designated as female, male, and in some locations, gender-inclusive. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.

Optional Housing: Family homestay (additional fee applies)
SAI homestay families are thoroughly screened and are accustomed to welcoming visiting students into their homes. Homestays provide a student shared or private occupancy private bedroom, with a shared bathroom, in the family home with basic furnishings. Daily breakfast and weekday dinner are included Monday – Thursday (no meals on weekends). Please note that some homestays may be outside of the city center and require a commute to reach school.

Passports
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law, students studying in Italy for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Depending on the consulate, students will either mail in their student visa application or appear in person to present their application to the consulate. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in preparing for the appointment; SAI Student Visa Consulting is part of the SAI 360° Services included in the program fee. SAI Student Visa Processing Service is available for select consulates only, for an additional fee.