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

Type of Travel: 
Program Director(s): 

Kurt Rosentrater
Laurie Kruzich

Departure Date: 
Sunday, May 17, 2020 to Saturday, May 30, 2020
Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 25, 2019

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 quantites of waste; thus food has a critical impact on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Historically, the criteria for food choice amongst 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
  • 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
1 credit for ABE 495 or FSHN 496 during Spring 2020 semester
2 credits for for ABE 495 or FSHN 496 during Summer 2020 semester

*If you are a dietetic student you will be required to participate in the pre-departure class during Spring 2020 semester and you will earn 3 credits for FSHN 596 for Summer 2020 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 May

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

Program Fee*
$4,032.03 (includes roundtrip airfare, lodging, in-country arrangements)

Other Fees*
$105.00 Study Abroad Administrative Fee
$15.00 CISI health insurance and travel assist

*will appear on U-bill

Tuition and Fees*
Undergraduates: $672 for tuition and $263 for fees 
Graduates:  $1,086 tuition and $252 for fees 

*ISU tuition and fee amount given is based on fee assessed for 2 summer credits for most majors.  Some majors may be assessed higher tuition and fees

Out-of-Pocket Expenses
$200 meals
$200 incidentals (vaccines and preventative medicines, souvenirs, toiletries, cell phone fees, visa if required - not required for U.S. citizens)
$175 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 (up to $145)

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, 2020

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 November 25, 2019.

  • 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.

Tentative Program Itinerary

Sunday,  May 17, Day 1
Departure from USA to Paris

Monday, May 18, Day 2
Arrival in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
Discovery of the city, Metro system, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Trocadero, Alley of the Swans

Tuesday, May 19, Day 3
Grocery store comparisons (Monoprix, Franprix, etc.) La Grand Epicerie de Paris
Basilique de Sacre Coeur & Montmarte art district
Walking tour of Montmarte
Cheese and wine tasting - Paroles de Fromangers
Cruise on River Seine 

Wednesday, May 20, Day 4
Bread baking class - Meeting the French
Meet with Alcimed - discuss food manufacturing & sustainability Meeting
The French tour - Brasserie Mollard
Wine Tasting in Paris
Evening roundtable discussion

Thursday, May 21,  Day 5
Paris Wine Day Tour
Vivaldi Four Seasons at Eglise de la Madeleine
Evening roundtable discussion

Friday, May 22, Day 6
Fragonard Perfume Museum
Palais Garnier 
Eglise de la Madeleine, Fauchon, chocolate, shopping, other
ACP Food Pantry - prepare sandwiches for distribution
Evening roundtable discussion

Saturday, May 23, Day 7
St. Sulpice
St.Germain des Pres
ACP Food Pantry - serve sandwiches throughout Paris
la Cuisine Paris- Macaron making Technical class 
Evening roundtable discussion

Sunday, May 24, Day 8
Musee Gourmand du Chocolate (chocolate making class)
Jardin Luxembourg, Marché
Bastille farmers market
The World Comes to Dinner
Evening roundtable discussion

Monday, May 25, Day 9
Free day to explore city; shopping, optional activities (buddy system)

Tuesday, May 26, Day 10
Project Work time

Wednesday, May 27, Day 11
Musee du Louvre - 4-DAY MUSEUM PASS
Jardin Tuleries 
Musee de l'Orangerie
Place de la Concorde
Evening roundtable discussion

Thursday, May 28, Day 12
Notre Dame de Paris (outside only)
St. Chapelle 
Other churches near Ile de la Cite (St. Severin; Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre) 
Project work time
Present final PPT Presentations
Evening roundtable discussion

Friday, May 29, Day 13
Arc de Triomphe
Walk & shop on Champs Elysees
Musee Rodin 
Musee d'Orsay     
Souvenir shopping; packing; etc.
Evening roundtable discussion

Saturday, May 30,  Day 14
Study Abroad complete

Country Taxonomy: