Students at the Culinary Institute of Charleston have many opportunities for involvement in the community. Externships allow students to practice techniques and skills learned in the classroom and gain the hands-on experience employers seek. The Hospitality and Culinary Service Association (HCSA) is a great way to get involved and make a difference. Special events, such as the college's A Night in the Valley black-tie fundraiser dinner for 600 guests, give students a chance to show off their knowledge and make important contacts in the industry and community.
Students taking the Farm to Plate culinary course take a three-day field trip to Asheville, North Carolina. There they tour the Biltmore Estate's farm and winery, learn how artisan chocolates are made at the French Broad Chocolate Company, watch the trout pulled from the runs at Sunburst Trout Farm, and experience locavore cuisine at The Corner Table. On the study-abroad trip to Italy, students learn about Italian cuisine at the Apicius International School in Florence and through many field trips around the rich countryside. More trips are just waiting to be taken.