I attended Ai up here in Minneapolis, and because this is a nationwide chain of Culinary schools, each location has different methods of teaching and (obviously) different instructors. It really depends on your instructors. I had the pleasure of learning under Chef instructors who have worked in some of the finest kitchens in the U.S. However, as good as Ai is, it pales in comparison to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Unforunately, that school is in the New York City area, and I did not have the resourses to move to New York and attend that school. However, you WILL learn alot at Ai. But you will have to work hard and take it VERY seriously. Remember, this a very expensive private school and if you fail a class by not taking it seriously (which is very easy to do), you will have to take it over again and pay for it again. If I can give you any advice, it is this: one of your first courses will be Basics. It is a cooking lab, and this is where you want to pay VERY close attention. Don't pretend to be Iron Chef America and try to impress your Instructor by showcasing your creativity. You will have many opportunities down the road to do so. If your instructor tells you to make chicken stock, prepare as instructed in the textbook. Don't add a pinch of this or a pinch of that to it. Master the fundamentals first and then go your own way with it. Ai is a good school and you'll have a lot of fun, but just take it seriously. Remember, this is college, not just a few cooking classes. As a former Ai student I wish you the best of luck. If you need any other tips or advice about Ai, feel free to contact me.