|Term||Start Date||End Date||Application Deadline|
Jun 01, 2020
Jun 15, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
At the intersection of applied sciences and French cultural studies, this dynamic program investigates the microbiology of wine and cheese production and its central role in French patrimoine (cultural heritage).
Study the complex chemical and biological processes that create diverse varieties of cheese and wine, with techniques that blend modern scientific knowledge with traditional values and practices. Learn to appreciate terroir, the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology, and climate of the region are expressed in wine and cheese. Explore the role of cheese and wine in the history, economy, culture, cuisine, art, and architecture of Burgundy, and of France as a whole. Prior experience in microbiology is recommended for this program, but students should have at least taken an introductory course in biology or chemistry.
Cluny is a haven for those who appreciate, or hope to discover, la France profonde--the deep, genuine French heartland. A medieval city with a modern population of just under 5,000, Cluny is rich in major historic monuments. These include the ruins of the once imposing Romanesque abbey, and unique townhouses dating from the 11th & 12th centuries. Today, Cluny is a charming city with friendly cafés and tiny restaurants, attractive boutiques and galleries, and a bustling Saturday market that's noted throughout the Burgundy region. And of course, Cluny has more than its fair share of fabulous wine and cheese shops!
To view a syllabus for the program, please click here. Please note this is a sample syllabus, all of its content is subject to change.
This intensive two-week course, worth 3 credits, is structured through lectures, group projects, wine and cheese tasting and field trips to explore the microbiology as well as the socioeconomic and cultural history of cheese and wine in southern Burgundy. You will discover how bacteria and fungi are central in processing milk into cheese, and savor the complex tastes and aromas of the diverse cheese varieties of the region. You will also learn about the history of viticulture, how yeast ferments sugars to ethanol, and the complexity of the chemical and biological reactions during maturation which give wine their character.
You will also visit Louis Pasteur's home and laboratory in Arbois, where we can trace back his steps to the early discoveries in fermentation that laid the foundation for the science of microbiology. The course melds a comprehensive appreciation of the science, history and culture of cheese and wine.
You can earn credit for either 11:680:102 (Science and Culture of Cheese and Wine, a science course for non-majors, no prerequisites) OR 11:680:410 (Microbiology and Culture of Cheese and Wine, an upper-level microbiology elective). Assignments and report requirements will differ.
For information about study abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.
Field trips and excursions in connection with wine and cheese will include visits to local farms, dairies, vineyards, caves (i.e., wine cellars), weekly markets in Cluny and adjacent towns, the Louis Pasteur house and lab in Arbois, the Roman remains at Vienne, great monasteries and chateaux connected with the wine trade, and Beaune, the historic capital of the Burgundy wine region.
Day 1. Joint departure from Paris, Welcome to Cluny.
Day 2. Review of microbiology and biochemistry of food fermentations. Discovering medievaland modern Cluny.
Day 3. Making Cheese: fermentation, curdling and aging. Introduction to different cheese varieties.
Day 4. Excursion to farms, cheese manufacturers and wineries in the Macconnais.
Day 5. Making wine. Microbiology and biochemistry of alcoholic fermentations.
Day 6. Excursion to vineyards & dairies of the Côte d’Or.
Day 7. The Farmer’s Market in Cluny.
Day 8. Sunday - Free
Day 9. Viticulture and cheese making – History and trade patterns.
Day 10. Excursion to Beaunne, the historic capital of the Burgundy wine region.
Day 11. History of microbiology: from applications to fundamentals.
Day 12. Excursion to Jura: Arbois, Pasteur's house and laboratory.
Day 13. Excursion to Jura: Jurassic cheese and wine.
Day 14. Wrap up - Presentation of student projects.
Day 15. Departure.
|NJ Resident||non-NJ Resident|
Program Cost includes:
• Some Meals (see brochure page for details)
• Administrative Fees
• International SOS Health Insurance
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:
The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad.
Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket and visa costs, while some of these expenses, such as meals and local transportation, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.
"I was surprised at the relationships farmers and retailers and craftsmen/women had with their customers. That aspect I felt was the most important in getting me to open my eyes to French culture, and once I learned that, I was able to understand so much more. Travelling abroad with friends from school has made me a bit more independent, I would say. You are responsible for yourself, but you are also responsible for each other. If you get lost walking through the streets of the town or using the metro system in Paris, you have to find out how to get to where you are going, and sometimes there is not much help. This is also more difficult when signs are not written in a language that you are comfortable with. But, if you are willing to learn and to not give up when challenged, you will always find a worthwhile adventure, and your way to your destination, of course."
"This summer, I took a course called “The Microbiology and Culture of Cheese and Wine” which was hosted in Cluny, France, a historical town within the Burgundy region of the Saône-et-Loire department. Here, I had an absolutely unforgettable experience with some amazing people. I will admit though: I did experience a little bit of culture shock and ended up feeling homesick by the second day. But, by the time the two weeks were over, I had become so accustomed that I didn’t want to leave!"
"I'm so glad I went on this trip. Being immersed in other people’s culture and space, you get to learn a lot about you and the people in the world. I learned that France is very similar to the way I want to live in the future. From the style of buildings and village style towns to the types of foliage and landscapes, France is a place I could see myself retiring to and residing in later in my life.”