Your academic program:
Location and type of program where you studied abroad:
Faculty-led program to Paris and Bordeaux focusing on the wine industry
Describe the location you studied abroad for someone who has never been there.
Every building has a story. The architecture is fascinating; I don’t think I’ve looked up at buildings and monuments so much in my life.
Why did you chose your program?
I wanted to learn about the wine market, and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new and different.
What was your best memory from your time abroad?
The chateaus were beautiful and their operation was fascinating. The merchant we visited described their business model, and his inventory of 2.5 million bottles of wine was incredible. For me, my favorite memory was the first two days in Paris when I was getting acclimated to French culture and site seeing. Walking into Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral was my favorite individual memory. It is an amazing combination of beauty, architecture, and colored light.
How did you afford an international experience?
I work full time while going to school part-time. I had to set aside some income in advance to pay for the experience. My tax return also helped.
How did you plan academically to be able to study abroad?
I took time off work, and I did as much ‘ground’ work for the academic requirements before leaving for France.
What was your favorite class or academic activity abroad? Why?
Our visit to Millesima, a wine merchant, was my favorite activity. The company was very forward with its operation and it fascinated me how successful the operation was. The local government rules prop up the success of the wine merchants, provided you have an ‘in’ and have the connections you need. Their margins and volume of inventory was fascinating.
Has study abroad changed who you are as a person? If so, in what ways?
This study abroad program may have given me the ‘travel bug.’ I want to get back out and try, see, and experience something new.
How has study abroad influenced you career path?
I would definitely entertain the idea of a job that requires me to travel abroad for a few years. If not, I definitely want to make sure my job allows me time to travel.
What is something you learned from studying abroad?
The collective study abroad experience is more than the academic requirements. Prepare enough in advance to allow yourself the opportunity to fully experience the culture.
What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time abroad?
My first two days in Paris I walked 42 miles around Paris and Versailles.