Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Awesome experience in France

By Hannah Wolf, Nutrition and EcoGastronomy at UNH
"Studying abroad in Dijon, France for the EcoGastronomy program has proven to be one of the most amazing experiences of my college career. My time in Europe has been eye-opening, breath taking, and at some moments, even challenging. Though I always knew majoring in Dietetics was the right path for me, I felt as though I needed something more. The EcoGastronomy dual major was exactly what I was looking for. The program involves everything I am passionate about, including sustainability and the awareness of not just what is on your plate, but more importantly, where it comes from.
Though the courses have taught me so much about viticulture, entrepreneurship, and French culture, I think that most of what I’ve learned has come from outside of the classroom. The other EcoG students and I have had the opportunity to go on amazing field trips to major wine and food producing regions around France, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, and Champagne. On each field trip, we would start the day first thing in the morning, as the eight of us, along with a few of our professors, climbed aboard a coach bus to drive to the day’s first destination. 
For example, our trip around Burgundy began with a stop at the Gaugry cheese factory, where we enjoyed a nice “breakfast” of various cheeses with bread, of course, complemented by wine. Next, we made our way to L’Or des Valois, where we had the unique experience of heading out to the fields to watch the specially trained dogs hunt for their famous truffles. The main event of each field trip included a wine tasting specific to each region, accompanied with a tour of the vineyard plot on which the wine was grown. I personally really enjoyed the wine tasting in Pommard, Burgundy, where we tasted wines as old as 1959 straight from the wine producer’s cellar. 
I am lucky enough to share this experience with seven other EcoG students from UNH, as well as the many international friends I’ve made along the way. 
Some of the best friendships I’ve made are with these three girls; (from left) Lexie, Marlee, and Katie have been my main travel companions throughout my study abroad experience. While we began this trip having never met, besides unknowingly passing by each other at UNH, we are leaving Europe with many memories and a friendship that will last a lifetime. We took advantage of our long weekends and Spring break to hop on trains and planes to various destinations around Europe. We spent ten days traveling through Italy, starting from Rome and making our way up to Florence, Venice, and Milan. We booked a cheap (and surprisingly not too sketchy) trip to Ireland where we enjoyed plenty of Guinness and even woke up in time to catch a bus to the Cliffs of Moher. We’ve also spent quite some time traveling through France, visiting Leon, Paris, and my personal favorite, Nice.
As my final days in Dijon are approaching, I have been trying to soak up each day and admire how different my daily life is here compared to the U.S. It is nearly impossible to describe this experience in a few simple paragraphs, but I am excited to bring with me all that I’ve learned abroad as I venture back home."

Dr Benoît LECAT

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