SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- GO HERE!! 5 STARS ARE NOT ENOUGH! GREATEST CULINARY SCHOOL EVER!! Today I cannot believe how amazing my culinary classes were! I just graduated this year (2009) with a Culinary Management Bachelor's Degree! So happy!
First mistake was going to Cordon Bleu before Art Institute... I attended the Cordon Bleu campus in Los Angeles and it was HORRIBLE! Cordon Bleu was dirty, teachers were super rude, made no effort to help you find a job after graduating (so I heard) and they do not teach any sanitation or cleanliness. Do not go to Cordon Bleu...
At the Art Institute Orange County all my teachers were working as Chefs at prestigious restaurants or had their own restaurants. Which means I was getting the best possible instruction available! They have an amazing restaurant at the campus called "50 Forks," and it is in the news all the time for being amazing. The restaurant 50 Forks is exclusively run by students, so I was able to immediately get real world experience.
What else? The tuition was standard for a high end education, but the Financial Aid Officers are amazing at finding you ways to get FREE MONEY! I am serious! About 75% of my tuition was covered and the rest were low interest loans that I don't have to pay back for like over a decade if I don't want too...
What else?? Career Assistance!! They got me a job before I even graduated! At the end of the year you have a senior project that is you developing your own idea for a restaurant/menu, etc. SO MUCH FUN! I had my display at our "Portfolio Show" (which is a job fair where the industry people come to our school to see the students) and the owner of a very nice restaurant in Newport Beach offered me a job on the spot!! I am out of school 2 weeks and I have a full time job helping create an Italian menu and run a kitchen!!! With my business training at the Art Institute I have plans to eventually open my own restaurant after some experience...
The point is: You get the very best training that is modern to what's going on right now in the world - You get the very best teachers you could ever ask for - You get a lot of help in finding ways to afford school, even free money every year!! You get JOB PLACEMENT!! NO OTHER SCHOOL DOES THIS!!
I love this school, best decision I ever made in my life... I was working at a bank hating my life... I thought every day, "The economy sucks, I have bad credit and no money, I will never be a chef..." Then I met the people who work at Art Institute in Orange County and they showed me you can get an education right now, you can graduate fast (3 years I got my Bachelor's) and you can afford it because there are so many ways to get free money and loans with bad credit... I am so happy!! In 3 years I went from hating my life at a bank to living my dream working as a Chef with a degree... THANK YOU ART INSTITUTE!!!
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- Somehow this school has managed to hire really good teachers who teach fantastic classes, and then ruin it all with their god-awful administration. This Art Institute will milk you for all you're worth, mess up your class schedules, screw up your financial aid plan, and consistently raise prices on everything. They are a FOR-PROFIT school, and this fact is made obvious immediately.
Student sponsored housing is a joke. They sublease apartments from a nearby complex and charge more than double the rent. The Student Housing program requires that students sign away their state-entitled rights as tenants. This means that student housing officials can come into your apartment at any time for any reason. They will also force you to move out at any time for any reason... with less than 3 days notice.
I attended AIoC-OC for three quarters and lived in 4 different apartments. Two of them had SEVERE MOLD issues. One of the apartments was infested with BEDBUGS. I have an emergency room bill for a particularly bad mold poisoning episode that I cannot afford to pay. I also had two packed suitcases and a desktop computer destroyed (or possibly stolen) when I failed to move them out in the two days I was given. Their reason for moving me out with two-days-notice: Consolidation. I could go on forever with this, so consider my review a brief summary of what to expect from the Art Institute of California - Orange County.