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How I did it: First I researched schools where I would be moving to. The ACF website was a major help. That's how I found out about apprenticeships. I found an excellent program which I had to write an essay for and go through 2 interviews.
Lessons & tips: You should work in a real kitchen before you commit yourself to culinary school or an apprenticeship, not McDonald's or Burger King. It's not the food network! It can be very demanding and very rewarding but it's not for everyone. There are many jobs in the food world from test kitchens to consulting to grocery store and many more. These are all things you should consider before making such a big commitment (i.e. no social life for 2 to 4 years, no weekends or holidays, working very late/early/long hours.)
Read the book Kitchen Confidential!!!