Cathedrals, Castles, Culture and Cuisine-sustainable, Safe and Nutritious Food in France

Type of Travel: 
Program Director(s): 
Departure Date: 
Sunday, June 9, 2019 to Saturday, June 22, 2019
Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 1, 2018

With the growth of the world’s population and the increasing awareness that our natural resources are limited, development of sustainable systems to produce food is essential. Globally, the food industry is one of the largest industrial sectors, consumes tremendous amounts of energy and water, and can result in large quantities of waste; thus food has a critical impact on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Historically, the criteria for food choice among consumers has been based on taste, price, availability, quality, and nutritional attributes; however, evidence now suggests that consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact of foods.  Students will learn about these issues (both in the US and in France), and they will have many opportunities to experience French cuisine and French culture as related to food, and will obtain different perspectives in terms of diet, food production, food preparation, food consumption, and the major role of food in French culture.  Students will also be immersed in French history, and will understand how cathedrals and castles have been, and continue to be, key to French culture and cuisine.

Program Goals and Outcomes

  • A unique experience in France revolving around food. 
  • Learn about culinary attributes and expectations
  • Experience food from the sourcing, preparation, as well as consumption standpoints.   
  • Discuss the concept of food sustainability, and how this differs between the U.S. and France. 
  • Additionally, key aspects of French culture and history will be experienced by visiting multiple cathedrals (including Notre Dame and St. Denis), Chateau de Versailles, la Eiffel Tower, le Louvre, Palais Garnier, and other historical sites throughout Paris.

At the end of the program, students will 

  • Understand food production, preparation, and consumption in France.
  • Understand culinary attributes and expectations.
  • Experience French culture and history, and the key role that food plays in this culture.
  • Understand how the concept of sustainability can differ between countries.

Participant Selection Criteria

  • Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior undergraduates and graduate students, dietetic interns.
  • GPA >2.5 (or permission of instructor)
  • Being open to other cultures, especially to non-American approaches, customs, and foods.
  • Be an ACTIVE participant in the program.
  • Being flexible if changes to itinerary are necessary.
  • Ability to follow directions and get along well with others.

Note: Due to international quarantine restrictions service animals cannot be accommodated on our study abroad programs. For more information, please contact the Iowa State University Student Accessibility Services Office.  

Course Information
R credits for ABE 495 or FSHN 496 or FSHN 596 during Spring 2019 semester
3 credits for for ABE 495 or FSHN 496 or FSHN 596d during Summer 2019 semester

This course has a pre-departure course component and a travel component.

  • For Pre-departure part of the course, class will meet during the spring semester at a location and time TBD. This course will
    • Set the tone for the program
    • Discuss academic portion 
    • Lay out expectations and procedures 
    • Answer your questions and concerns
    • Cover topics about itinerary, accommodation, meals, safety, health, logistics, travel documents, finances and more
  • Travel portion of the course will take place in June

 Students must take both the on campus course and complete the travel component.  

Program Fee
$4,860.30 (includes airfare, lodging, several meals, transportation, health and emergency insurance, entrance fees)

Tuition and Fees (estimated from Summer 2018 fees)
Undergraduates: $933 for tuition and $235.50 for fees,  $105 study abroad admin fee billed by 3224 MU
Graduates:  $1,491 tuition and $225 for fees,  $105 study abroad admin fee billed by 3224 MU
Engineering Junior and Senior: $1,227 tuition and $290 for fees, $105 study abroad admin fee billed by 3224 MU 
**Note: some students may pay more or less for ISU fees depending on their major.

Tuition, fees and program fees will be automatically charged to student U-bills

Out-of-Pocket Expenses
~$200 meals
~$200 incidentals (vaccines and preventative medicines, souvenirs, toiletries, cell phone fees, visa if required)
$145 passport*

*If you are a first time traveler in CALS and need a passport, click here to find out how you can get the cost of your passport reimbursed

There are study abroad scholarships available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences study abroad office in 0018 Curtiss Hall. Scholarship application details are served to CALS students in the learning content section of the study abroad program application. Application deadline for summer term scholarship applications is March 1, 2019

Other Scholarship Resources

Office Of Students Financial Aid

Affording to go

Iowa State University Student Affairs Scholarships

Application Process
To be considered in the selection process, applicants should have completed the program application in its entirety before the application deadline of December 1, 2018.

  • Once the selection process is complete, you will be notified about the decision.
  • If you are accepted to the program you will be required to commit or decline participation.
  • Typically you will be given 7 to 10 days with a specific commitment date to finalize your decision.

Once you commit to the program, you are officially a participant in the program and will be responsible for all the program cost outlined in the budget. If you withdraw your participation after committing to a program, you will be responsible for all non-refundable payments that were made on your behalf and these charges will be charged to your U-bill.

Program Itinerary

Sunday, June 9, Day 1
Departure from Ames to Paris, from Des Moines via ORD

Monday, June 10, Day 2
Arrival in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
Discovery of the city, Metro system, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Trocadero

Tuesday, June 11, Day 3
Chateau de Versailles and gardens

Wednesday, June 12, Day 4
Le Louvre, Jardin Tuleries
Place de la Concorde, 9 pm cruise on River Seine

Thursday, June 13,  Day 5
Notre Dame de Paris, St. Chapelle, Basilique de St. Denis

Friday, June 14, Day 6
Arc de Triomphe, Musee Rodin, Musee d'Orsay

Saturday, June 15, Day 7
Basilique Sacre Coeur
Montemarte art district
Macaron making technical class

Sunday, June 16, Day 8
Musee Gourmand du Chocolate (chocolate making class)
Jardin Luxembourg, Marché
Bastille farmers market
The World Comes to Dinner

Monday, June 17, Day 9 
Free day to explore city; shopping, optional activities (buddy system)

Tuesday, June 18, Day 10
Tour of vinyards in Bourgundy and Sancere regions

Wednesday, June 19, Day 11
Palais Garnier, Fragonard Perfume Museum, cheese tasting class

Thursday, June 20, Day 12
Traditional and high-end grocery stores, chocolate stores, ice cream, wine tasting class

Friday, June 21, Day 13
Bagguette baking class, Abbey St. Germeain de Pres, St. Sulpice

Saturday, June 22,  Day 14
Study Abroad complete