France from Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Systems

CFAN 3505 and CFAN 3512

Estimated Program Dates:
May 28 - June 26, 2020 (orientation will take place in Paris the afternoon of May 28th. Students should plan to depart the U.S. on May 27th)

Application Deadline:
February 1, 2020

Apply here.

France: From Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Systems


Paris, city of lights. The castles of the lush Loire Valley. The walled city of Saint Malo and the historic battlefields of northern France. You will visit these places while learning about sustainable food chains: crop production, agroecology, sustainable livestock farming systems and agribusiness structures, as well as oenology – the wine-making process. Other topics that will be focused on include viticulture, food sciences and technology, international marketing, sensory analysis and consumer behavior in the French context. You will also study France's regional food systems and the concept of "terroir" – the conditions related to the production of foods and wine based on the soils and special characteristics found in the region. Visits to vineyards, organic farms, a goat farm, a cattle breeding farm and a liquor distillery offer behind-the-scenes insights into French agricultural business.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in an optional internship following the course. Those with a desire to experience French agriculture in a hands-on environment are encouraged to apply. This internship aims to develop student's professional skills through hands-on experience working in agriculture, as well as language skills and cultural knowledge through through sharing in daily life with colleagues and a French host family.

The internship can be a 4 week or 8 week program, beginning in either July or August. Duties of the student will vary from farm to farm, but every student will stay with a farming host family. Students are expected to continue improving their French speaking skills during this internship. Students are financially responsible for acquiring health insurance for the duration of their stay and for any time spent traveling prior to the beginning of the internship. There is no cost for completing the internship, and room and board are covered. For a full description please refer to this Internship Overview and Application.

*If a U of M student wishes to receive credit for their internship, he or she must register for an internship course when registering for the study abroad program. Students need to discuss the internship requirements with their advisor.  

An international internship offers you practical training or work experience. These experiences can be invaluable in shaping your education and career.

Some benefits include:

  • gaining professional experience and skills
  • increasing your network
  • enriching your academic study
  • increasing your opportunities for graduate program admission and future employment
  • further developing your cultural knowledge, sensitivity, and skills 


CFAN 3505 - French Language and Culture - 1.0 credits

CFAN 3512* - Sustainable Food Chains - 3.0 credits

*Fulfills the Global Perspectives, Social Sciences, and Environment liberal education requirements.

For more detailed information, please click here to view the class descriptions and schedule from last year.  

Confirmed students will receive flight options from the office but will book their own flights for the program.  Students will need to depart on Wednesday, May 29 to arrive on Thursday, May 30.  Students will meet program coordinators at the Paris youth hostel at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 

Students who do not plan to participate in the internship may plan their departure between Friday, June 28 and Monday, July 1.


Students interested in food science and nutrition, food systems, agriculture, and sustainability.


First Step Sessions give basic information about programs, services, and resources available through the Learning Abroad Center. You do not have to reserve your spot, just show up to 230 Heller Hall, West Bank. You can also complete the First Step Session online

Please note: Because we cover so much information in a short period of time, if you are more than 5 minutes late you will have to attend a different First Step Session.



$5,800-$6,200 plus airfare, some meals and personal expenses. The final 2020 program fee will be posted in fall 2019.

The program fee includes tuition, administration, orientation, international health insurance, housing, excursions, and nearly all meals.   Students will book their own airfare for this program.  Please consult with the Office of International Programs regarding airfare, and email a copy of your booked flight. 

Grants and Scholarships at CFANS


Vanessa Walton, the Education Abroad Program Director at the CFANS Office of International Programs. Contact Vanessa with any program questions via email at


Want to extend your stay in France and experience French farm life first hand? Students participating in this program have the option to apply for a Farm Practice Internship in the Loire Region of France. Check out our internships page for more information.