Three students from the Department of Agriculture—Melanie Krawczyk, Katrina Schreiner, and Nancy Adams—and one student majoring in international business, Melissa Nicole Dickey, spent a month exploring France this summer with 30 other students from various universities as part of the 2013 ESA (Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture) Summer Program “From the Farm to the Table … a Sustainable Food System.”

Schreiner is majoring in agriculture with a dual sequence in agribusiness and agronomy management, so this program was a natural fit for her. The curriculum of the program concentrated on the development of agriculture in France and the history of French food. For instance, several lectures focused on the development of wine, beginning with the grape. One course examined the differences between bread in France and bread in the United States. Students visited an agroforestry farm, a cattle farm, wine producers, and an organic cheese producer.

“Most of our time was spent in Angers, France, where our school was located,” Schreiner said. She lived with a host family who had three children and hosted three exchange students. “I loved my host family!” Schreiner said. “It was a packed house, but the mom was an amazing cook!”

“If any student has the opportunity to study abroad, they should absolutely go!” Schreiner said. “It was an amazing experience that I will never be able to replicate. I had a fantastic time and met some great people that I continue to keep in touch with.”