Emily Kittendorf is a Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources junior double majoring in Animal Science and Communications. During the summer of 2017, she is studying abroad in France where she will be sharing the adventures of her journey on the MSU Food blog.
Summer in France
While France’s history and language can be studied online and with textbooks, the culture has more depth than I had imagined or what I had prepared for.
I’ve finally recognized what the humbling and calming feeling is that comes with travel – it’s not knowing how to do the most basic tasks.
I’ve mentioned frequently the clarity of labels on French products. Walking through the grocery store in France is a much different experience than what I am familiar with in the U.S.
My entire time in classes in France I had learned about dairy goats, cows, and sheep and I hadn’t seen a French pig until today, and the system’s appearance seems dramatically different than the U.S.
As an animal science major, I am familiar with all the products that come from various types of animals, yet the biological processes behind the creation of each product I am generally unaware of.
Today has been a day full of food. While I started my day with the subpar French version of Frosted Flakes like I have every other morning here, the rest of the food I ate did not disappoint.
Je suis américaine, and I have never been more aware of that. The differences have been major, but delving into animal sustainability issues in lecture today was a challenge for my American mind. Challenge number one was the fact that France prides itself on region-based specialties.
I’m staring at the four tan walls that surround me in my room with the shudders still closed and the blue blanket on my bed contrasting with everything, yet even 24 hours after one of the best adventures of my life, I still can’t fathom that it was real.
I have officially spent a week abroad and while in the last post I recognized the differences between cultures, I have now already begun to see my personal growth.
Signing up for a study abroad is obviously signing up for an adventure, however I will admit that I wasn’t planning on this big of an adventure.