Agribusiness Management Major Travels to Paris


Posted: June 24, 2013

Hannah Masser, Agribusiness Management major with a minor in Agricultural Communications, shares her experience in Paris, France (INTAG/AGBM 499E/F).

"When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure it’s a movie you want to watch."

I have always loved that quote and I wanted it to be my inspiration for my study abroad trip to Paris, France.  A trip to Paris was always something that I wanted in “my movie” and was ecstatic when I found out about the trip was being offered again this year.  Combining my passion for the agricultural industry and the place that I had dreamed of going since I was a little girl seemed like an opportunity that I could not miss out on. 


Needless to say I was not disappointed and it would be an understatement to say the trip was an incredible experience because for me it really was life changing in some ways. I think everybody, including me, had this glorified image of living abroad and living a simpler life. However, the language barrier definitely turned out to be a bigger challenge then I had anticipated.  At times it felt like I was in one big game of charades, trying to guess what was being asked of me.  Even though it was stressful at the time, I think it gave me the skills to adapt to situations in my future endeavors.  I quickly picked up some key French phrases that allowed me to get along more smoothly and I observed the people around me more carefully so that I could blend in more.  It gave me the skills to adapt to situations and improved my communication skills.


While the language barrier was an issue, it was just a minor speed bump in an otherwise amazing trip.  I got to see so many things that a tourist just visiting would never be able to see.  Being partnered with the AgroParis Tech University in France gave us access to the Rungis wholesale market, which is the largest fresh food market in the world.  The market had everything from fresh fish and beef to flowers and vegetables. We also got to travel to three different growers in the Champagne region and see how some of the finest wine crafters in the world run their operations. 


Aside from the visits, we also sat in on lectures from some of the best professionals in the French agricultural industry and that was really fascinating to see the similarities and the differences of French agriculture compared to the United States agriculture.  I think all of these things make the experience that I acquired on this trip extremely marketable to a future employer because this trip was so much more than a sightseeing tour; it was a hands on adventure into French agriculture.

Hannah Masser
Agribusiness Management Major with a Minor in Agricultural Communications