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Agriculture in Paris, a European Adventure - Morgan Brown Major: Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Minor: Film Studies

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Posted: June 17, 2013

The most beneficial knowledge I gained came from experiencing the city for myself, taking it in, and discovering unique places in a personal way.
Me, at the Eiffel Tower

Me, at the Eiffel Tower

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a two-week course administered by the agricultural university AgroParisTech in Paris, France. During the course, I had the opportunity to listen to several speakers on varying topics related to the agricultural systems present in France. Some of my favorite discussions were about sensory perception and animal welfare. I really enjoyed the sensory perception discussion because I was intrigued by the view held by a Frenchman on the idea of terroir (in effect, it doesn’t contribute much to the final product) because I had been very skeptical on the concept myself. It was nice to BrownFrance2.pnghear that there were differing views on the subject in France. I also really enjoyed the presentation on animal welfare because it was very easy to draw similarities between the French and American perspectives on the treatment of animals. There were also several excursions outside of the classroom that helped to broaden my perspective of the city. My favorite trips outside the classroom included the chocolate tour, a tour of Paris in the Middle Ages, and the US Embassy visit. I was very excited about the chocolate tour because I loved the nuances of each store along with the different packaging and style inherent to each one. During the Middle Ages tour, it was fun to find the hidden architecture that exists in the city. Lastly, the US Embassy visit was interesting because I enjoyed returning to “American soil” and the feeling of being two places at once.

After traveling to France and Europe, I believe I’ve grown more comfortable with city life and getting around on my own. I was definitely independent before but I think I’ve become more independent and have learned to ask more questions in order to find my way. In this way, I believe my social communication skills have improved dramatically from this experience and my self-management skills have also improved. If I were to describe this experience to a potential employer, I BrownFrance3.pngwould say that the knowledge I learned in the classroom was very interesting, but the most beneficial knowledge I gained came from experiencing the city for myself, taking it in, and discovering unique places in a personal way. I was able to do this by doing things like climbing the Arc de Triomphe and finding major artwork at the Louvre (because I am a huge Dan Brown fan). I also enjoyed taking a leisurely stroll down the Champs Elysees and discovering my new favorite dessert: macarons. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I will have memories from this journey for the rest of my life.