VIU Baking and Culinary Field School to Belgium and France 2024

Field School Dates: January 13 to 28, 2024

Program Overview

Join us as we set out on our sixth field school to explore the world of chocolate, pastry, and bread in Belgium and France.  Both culinary and baking afficionados will enjoy the dizzying array of hands-on workshops, tours of chocolate and baking factories, Belgian chocolate shops, and the very best of Parisian pastry, bread, and chocolate. Cheer on Canada at the Baking Coupe du Monde (World Cup) Competition at Europain in Paris.  This is one of the world's largest baking related trade shows and it is jam-packed with vendors selling everything from gigantic revolving ovens to the very latest pastry gadgets.  You will also have two free days in Paris to explore the city or take a day trip to nearby historical sites such as Versailles, Fontainebleu, Chantilly and many more.

Find out more information in the 2023 Baking & Culinary Field School Brochure.

" I was accepted as a community add on to the trip, with no prior affiliations to VIU.

The opportunities to taste, see, smell, touch and then to network with the instructors from both VIU and those we made contact with in France and Belgium were absolutely what launched my business to the next level.

I went with a goal to taste croissants in France because my main product is croissants and I had never tasted the real thing and to find a product to replace the bread that was not selling well. My conclusion was that I am doing pretty well in the croissant area and got some tips on how to improve them and that I WAS making lousy ‘Susie homemaker’ bread and I fell in love with bread and now make about 200 loaves of sourdough for my Saturday market."

- Sharon Janzen, 2018 Baking & Culinary Field School participant

Application Procedure

Deadline to Apply: September 8, 2023

Interested students should submit their completed Application Form to Ken Harper at

Be prepared to do lots of walking. Comfortable shoes are a must!! We will be visiting Europe in winter. Brussels will be cold, comparable to a typical West Coast winter with a possibility of snow. Paris will be a little warmer but could still be cold.

Students that graduated in 2023 from the Culinary Arts program, Culinary Diploma Program, Professional Baking program, or Baking Diploma Program will have first refusal on participating in this field school. New students starting in Fall 2023, and Alumni from any of these programs listed above will have second refusal. After this, we will consider VIU students from other programs, and people from industry as participants 

Students will submit an application to either the Culinary Arts program or the Professional Baking program. Notification of admission will be approximately one week after the application deadline. Currently enrolled students must have a C+ average or better, good program attendance, a reference from one culinary or baking instructor, and suitable responses to the questions asked on the application form.

Alumni will be selected based on their responses to the questions asked on the application form. VIU culinary and baking alumni and apprentice applications will be considered for the field school. Through their responses to the questions asked on the application form, students will demonstrate a clear vision of what they expect to learn and experience during the field school. They will demonstrate tolerance for new cultural experiences and for traveling and living in close quarters with large groups of people.

All successful applicants must be able to legally travel outside of Canada and through/to the USA.

Field School Fees Include:

  • Flights
  • All chartered busses
  • Walk-on ferry fares
  • Paris Metro passes and tickets
  • Accommodation (shared in hostel style housing)
  • All breakfasts (except Day 1, 16 – flight days)
  • Final group dinner on Day 14
  • All group activity, entrance fees

Expenses Not Included:

  • Participants need to be prepared to pay out of pocket for approx. 10 lunches, and 13 dinners not included in the program cost. Efforts will be made to offer suggestions about affordable café, cafeteria or restaurant options, or where to purchase basic groceries for the participants to prepare meals in the shared hostel kitchens. 
  • Personal expense money
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Sightseeing, visits, entrance fees for other activities not listed in itinerary
  • Items of a purely personal nature
  • Travel Medical Insurance (mandatory enrollment inGuard.Me)
  • Vaccinations, immunizations, passportapplications/renewals
  • Schengen Visa for Entry to France/Belgium (for non-Canadian citizens)

Payment Schedule

Deposit*$500September 15, 2023
Payment 1$1950October 13, 2023
Payment 2/Final Payment$1950November 17, 2023

*Non-refundable deposit required to secure your seat in the program

All payments must be made by the student record. Credit cards are NOT accepted.

Please review the VIU Education Abroad Cancellation, Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

All successful applicants must be able to legally travel outside of Canada and through/to the USA.

Passports: All participants must have a valid passport good for six months after your return. Applications for Canadian passports are available at Canada Post offices. Students must be able to legally travel outside of Canada and through/to the USA.

International students going abroad must make sure their TRV and Study Permits are up-to-date and won't expire while they are abroad.

Visas: Students will be responsible for applying for and securing their own visas (where appropriate). Canadian citizens will not normally require a visa.

International students may require a Schengen visa as per European Union entrance requirements.

Ken Harper

Education Abroad

Building 255, 2nd Floor
Phone: (250) 753-3245 local 2494