Study abroad in France

Portrait of female student
Bree Thompson

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming provides many opportunities for its students. One of the opportunities they provide is study abroad programs based on agriculture. I was fortunate enough to receive an opportunity to participate in an adventure of a lifetime in France, through the French and Farm Culture program!
To start our adventure, we spent a few days in Paris to take in the famous sites; for example, The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame, and also learn about the history of Paris and the role of food in Paris.
The rest of my month-long journey was spent in a classroom in Angers learning about things like food labels such as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographic Indication (PGI), Red Label, and Organic label, history of wine, and how to properly taste wine, cheese and bread, and gastronomy of regions in France. We also learned a little bit of French.
To enhance our learning of the agricultural industry in France, we also went on several farm visits, most of which were solely organic-based and some of which received other labels like PDO or PGI. My favorite farm visit was either the Maine Anjou cattle operation or the dairy where Camembert cheese is produced.
An added bonus to our trip was that every weekend we got to travel to new cities to get another view of life in France and take in famous sites. We really got a taste of French life through staying with host families in Angers.
We came to realize how important food is in the everyday lives of the French; we would spend one-three hours at the dinner table every night. They say French life is based around the dinner table and that became obvious with how much they prepare their meals, how many courses they have, how they expect you to finish everything on your plate, and overall just how much food they make at every meal.
We got a taste of every aspect of French life, and I am so very grateful for the opportunity to take this trip to not only check another country off my list, but also to have learned so much about the agricultural industry in a different country!
This program is something I highly recommend to anyone who has a passion for traveling and learning about different agricultural systems.

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