The College of Business Travels to France

Alyssa MacKinnon

Sixteen students attended the two week long winter University of New Haven study abroad trip in France. The trip was led by Professor M. Goldberg along with Professor G. Petrich.
Paris was the first leg of the journey and the Eiffel Tower was one of our first group activities after a stunning trip to the large open market near the Bastille. The Bastille is no longer standing, but the market is alive and well, with variety and fresh food. Some students purchased exotic French foods and tried locally crafted wines. Apartment style living for most students allowed hands on cooking and preparation of food, which really added to the the experiential learning the UNH is known for to the curriculum.

The students at the Bastille, after the market day, in front of the tributes to peace/victims of the terrorist attacks (Photo provided by Alyssa MacKinnon)
The students at the Bastille, after the market day, in front of the tributes to peace/victims of the terrorist attacks (Photo provided by Alyssa MacKinnon)

The cooking class and wine tasting at La Mirande hotel in Avignon made the body of the trip for our cultural experience. After learning how to shuck oysters, decipher the market ingredients (like chevelle), and properly prepare the food, students feasted on the truffle soufflé soup, roasted pigeon with vegetables, and finished the meal with a delicious puffed crepe creation.

The Hamone de Boeuf Vin Museum was a large historical wine museum that demonstrated an in depth look at the process of making, selling, and cultivating wine. Wine is a key part of life to the average French person, and has historically been one of the most notable French goods besides cheese and bread. Escargot and a variety of wines were just some of the new experiences enjoyed by the brave students who reached outside of their comfort zones.

The Bakery Museum featured various bakery goods and ancient legal notices of the laws concerning bread as such an integral part of the life. Roussillon and the other Provence towns held their own unique stories. The history present in these towns is so rich, and the unique facets to each place makes it easy to want to explore more.

Palais du Pape and the Bridge of Avignon are the central features of Avignon, the main focal point for the trip. The Palais is where the clergy centered themselves and gave Avignon some notoriety. The story of the bridge is somewhat fun: a man hears a voice from God that tells him to build a bridge and the clergy says to the man “lift the 500kg rock to start the bridge,” and the man, Benezet, lifts the giant rock and thus a bridge was built.

In the last part of the trip, students were free to explore more specialized cultural pieces such as the palace of Versailles, the beaches of Normandy, and then return to Paris for our final dinner together. Some students went to Disney world, others the Louvre, others even explored foreign universities for higher education.

The town and Palace of Versailles are magnificent and could have been explored for days, but Normandy was something that truly takes your breath away.

The trip was educational, experiential, and a fantastic look at the cultural life and laws of France. Study abroad has always been an integral part of experiential learning of UNH and this trip was something I hope many more students, as well as faculty, take the time to seriously invest in. Travel is so much more than simply going to a different place; it’s the opportunity to immerse yourself in another way of life. As a group, we walked over 100 miles, learned and ate new things every day, and discovered new things about ourselves, like the ability to decipher a map of Paris without speaking French. Don’t let anything hold you back from exploring your passions in new places: UNH study abroad is the program to get students out in the world.