TIFTON—Eating endless amounts of bread and cheese, touring a snail farm, and living like the French were some of the highlights for a group of students from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College who experienced a study abroad trip to France this summer.
For Loren Lindler, studying abroad was the experience of a lifetime she couldn’t pass up. A senior from Gilbert, S.C., Lindler will graduate from ABAC in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. The journey represented her first taste of life away from America.
“This was my first trip to another country,” Lindler said. “I was a little nervous flying over the ocean, but those feelings quickly receded.”
The overnight flight landed in Paris at 7 a.m. The travelers grabbed a quick snack, jumped in vans, and began to explore. Their first stop was Belleau Wood, site of the first major engagement for the United States Army in World War I.
“We were all completely exhausted from the day of travel and from very little sleep on the plane,” Lindler said. “We were all struggling to keep our eyes open that first day, but somehow we managed to stay awake.”
Lindler said the focus of the group’s trip was on Northern France. Their stops included Reims, Rouen, and Normandy. On June 6, the group traveled to Normandy Beach to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Lindler says her favorite part of the trip was getting to see another country, an experience that was quite different than anything she has experienced in her life so far. Her favorite place was Mont Saint Michel. They climbed over 300 steps to reach the top of their destination at the historic mountain abbey.
“I thought we would never reach the top, but it was worth every step,” Lindler said. “It was breathtaking.”
The ABAC contingent went for a bike ride at Versailles, toured Marie Antoinette’s home, picnicked like the French, visited with snails and ate so much cheese and bread that Lindler is sure to never eat another bite of the French staple.
“We ate so much cheese and bread, and I was not prepared for that,” Lindler said. “By the end of the trip I told myself that I was never eating cheese and bread again.”
One element of the trip that surprised Lindler was the number of “American” restaurants in France. She said that many places served American food but it was not the same taste as in the United States.
As an agricultural communications major, Lindler said the trip was helpful because she wanted to see what agriculture was like in other countries. Lindler said that ABAC Associate Professor Tom Grant made sure to include agriculture-related stops for those students who wanted to know more.
“We spent most of the time in rural France, and I was amazed at how many fields there were,” Lindler said. “There was agriculture everywhere.”
This was Lindler’s first study abroad trip, and she encouraged other students to take the leap and go places. France is just one of the many destinations where students can travel through ABAC’s study abroad program.
Study abroad trips for 2020 are still in the planning stages. For questions about study abroad opportunities, ABAC students can contact Dr. Darby Sewell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (229) 391-4810.