Paris1.jpg I can’t believe the semester is already halfway over! It has absolutely flown by; I wish I could pause time! This past month has been full of traveling – from our winter break “road trip” and touring the Champagne region to our study trip in the south of France.

For winter break I visited Geneva, Switzerland; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Prague, Czech Republic, with 7 other students in the program. We traveled by train to each city, which was a fun, easy and scenic alternative to flying. It was interesting to see the cultural diversity between each country. We came to find out each place had a different form of currency, spoke a different language and had varying cuisines.

Paris2.jpg One Friday this month I took a day trip to Epernay, France, in the Champagne region with a few other students and visited the Moet & Chandon house. We took a tour through the production process and had a champagne tasting at the end of our visit. The town of Epernay is beautiful and houses the champagne production facilities of Perrier Jouet and Veuve Clicquot along with Moet and many other world-renowned champagnes. The history behind the drink and the region was particularly interesting- who knew Dom Perignon was a monk and the inventor of champagne?

Paris31.jpg This past weekend we went on a study trip to Toulouse and Montpellier in the south of France, where we visited the Airbus plant and saw the production process of their A-380s, visited modern art museums in Toulouse, beached in Palavas and took an architectural tour though Montpellier. The traveling and study trips have been a fun way to learn about and experience first-hand French and European culture.

In photos: (top) Valentine’s Day in Budapest; (center) visiting the Moet & Chandon House; (right) at the highest point of Montpellier