UNISG stands for the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy (Piemonte Region near Turin). Slow Food founded this University and I’m considering their Masters Program for Food Culture and Communication.
As you’ve seen on my new and improved resume, I have two bachelor degrees as well as a Master’s degree… so the question is… why do I want to go to school again??
I’m kinda sorta asking myself this question. Many people have told me that food writers do not need a standard food degree; I have a specialization in Communication: Writing Arts from Rowan University, NJ… but I know it wouldn’t hurt to have a specialization in food studies (just my bank account). I’ve been looking into the PhD program at NYU and New Zealand, but a career isn’t guaranteed after graduation… which is why I’ve taken it upon myself to do some active research via LML (active research/quarter-life-crisis… it’s the same).
After reading this brutally honest review of UNISG… I organized a private tour (two months ago) to get some clarity on this subject. I was told to arrive on September 14, 2011 at 8:30am to meet with a representative for Q&A’s and to participate in two tasting classes: Wine & Beer.
Now that I’ve had my visit to Pollenzo, the big question is: Do I want to go to UNISG?
- Graduate with a Master’s Degree in Food Culture and Communication
- Gain an entire network of food contacts
- Take off-the-map trips in Italian & Europe with local guides
- Focus on courses involving/revolving FOOD
- 3-month internship
- Have an experience of lifetime
- Extend my stay in Italy for at least another year
- 15,000 euro tuition (+ add an extra 5,000 euro for living expenses)
- 9 months of classes (pretty sure I have A.D.D. whether food is present in class or not… did you notice my tweets during the beer tasting?? Okay, I’ll blame it on the alcohol.)
- Extend my stay in Italy for at least another year (it has its ups and downs)
- Rumors about disorganization were slightly confirmed when I arrived for my 8:30am meeting… the person scheduled to meet me never showed up to answer my questions (even though I confirmed the meeting 48hrs prior):
QUESTIONS FOR UNISG? (Dug and got some answers from various sources.)
- Percentage of students who find jobs post graduation? Surprisingly honest response from a UNISG representative: 90% get jobs but it might take awhile… you must be proactive because it’s all about connections with colleagues as well as the school.
- What type of jobs do they get? Location? English speakers? Some people work in farms & vineyards, others do marketing, or they start their own projects, etc. We have contacts in Italy, USA, Japan, all over.
- Are there work opportunities while studying? Students say that the Slow Food Movement will accept volunteers on a regular basis.
- How do students acquire internships? Who helps assign these internships? Students say that the school does not organize the internships however they will connect with someone in order to get the job.
- If Professors are brought in from other schools, how do they keep up with the syllabus? How many classes per week? Assignments? Students say that classes are 15hrs, so they’re quick and intensive. Professors are flown in when they can, so some weeks there’s a lot of work and some days there’s nothing. Most assignments are sent via email and grades can be assigned on campus or much later.
- What’s included in tuition? Recreation center? Are books or readings provided for? Students say that they provide their own material and they buy their own books (even though they were told it was going to be included).
- Which trips will the course take? It depends on which section you enter- March, May or November, you don’t know which trips you go on until they tell you.
- Italian visa? Requirements? School representative said that student visas are very easy to acquire and there’s the possibility to extend the visa with an internship (but the student has to do that on their own).
- Is there a student government or clubs or organizations to get more involved on campus? Students say that clubs aren’t necessary because the UNISG schedule is too busy.