Gastronomic tourism is becoming a real player in the tourism market as food and wine attract greater numbers of travelers each year. On our January Wine Studies seminar, you’ll have the opportunity to examine the individuality and expression of France and Spain, bringing together their rich culinary heritage. You’ll taste French and Spanish wines and speak directly with winemakers, master chefs, and tourism agencies, and you’ll attend special lectures on winemaking and food pairing by master chefs and sommeliers. Along the way, you’ll visit famous cultural sites that have greatly influenced tourism, gastronomy, and the economies of these great countries.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
- Avg Course Load
- 1 class (3 U.S. credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
Key Program Highlights
- Chance to speak directly with winemakers, master chefs, and tourism agencies
- Experienced program instructor with fifteen years in the international wine industry
- Six wine regions, each with a unique novelty
- Variety of courses, including wine studies, cultural studies, and hospitality management
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Barcelona and Aix-en-Provence
Welcome and Orientation
You’ll kick off this epic and engaging January travel-study program in the form of a comprehensive orientation. Meet your fellow students and the professors and program leaders. We’ll cover local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general. As this program will allow you to experience first-hand the rich winemaking heritage of each location, we will set expectations on responsible and mature behavior, modeling that of Europeans who typically drink more moderately and responsibly than young Americans. We’ll combine elements of our group orientation with an experiential education in local culinary practices (read: tasty meal!) in the form of a welcome dinner in both program bases, Aix-en-Provence and Barcelona.
Farewell and Re-entry Program
While you may have a hard time leaving the Mediterranean and its exceptional people, places, and wine, we’ll make sure you can sufficiently reflect on all that you’ve experienced. We’ll gather you all together again for one last round of tasty tapas and fine wine. After an experience like this, we can’t prepare you enough for “reverse culture shock,” symptoms of which commonly include daydreaming, storytelling, and frequent hashing of plans for your next trip overseas. We’ll give you a sense of what to expect when returning home, as well as how to verbalize your experience in a resume and job interview, resources to stay involved in study abroad and a discount for a future program. We have plenty of programs that can take you back to places you visited on this program, and even more that will expose you to wonderful, new places and people!
Housing will be shared rooms with up to four people per room. Students will stay at hotels, hostels, student dorms, and/or homestays in each location. Breakfasts will be included most days.
- Wineries: Combining Craft and Business: Head out of your historic and pleasant program bases for the lush countryside. You'll visit a variety of wineries with both local and global reaches, allowing you to understand and appreciate the craft and business of winemaking. Topics include the international influence of the French and Spanish wine markets, the globalization of wine, and the tourism industry. And, yes, your palette will also be involved in much of the learning.
- Southern France: Hub of Gastronomy and Wine: Yes, they still do business by the Mediterranean in southern France, despite strong desires to idle by the sea and stroll through fields of lavender... Due to its favorable Mediterranean climate and rich soils, Aix-en-Provence's rich food and wine heritage has justifiably so become a source of pride for residents, and increasingly sought after by outsiders. The tourism industry relies heavily on the region's reputation for fine food and wine - we think you'll understand why shortly into your visit...
- Mediterranean Coastline and Culture: As this program will have you hugging the Mediterranean coast, there will be no shortage of incredible views, from the sandy beaches of Barcelona to the rugged cliffs of Cassis. Understandably so, the pace of life along the Mediterranean is a bit slower, so you'll be encouraged to practice both patience and mindfulness to fully appreciate these cultures. Both the sea itself as well as the climate have shaped resident cultures, resulting in a similar diet and lifestyle across otherwise diverse peoples.
More About Barcelona and Aix-en-Provence
Your journey into the heart of France and Spain's wine-producing regions begins in Barcelona.Barcelona offers the perfect base from which to explore Spanish viticulture. You'll have the chance to visit Barcelona's distinct neighborhoods and sample Spanish wine for yourself in one of its many bodegas. A tour of a winery in the Penedès region awaits when you strike out from Barcelona into the nearby wine-producing regions.
Though the Spanish are experts in wine production, France also produces some of the most recognizable wines in the world. Aix-en-Provence (or simply "Aix"). The winding streets of Aix are often filled with visitors from around the world. They come to shop in its vibrant markets full of beautiful produce, view the works of Paul Cézanne, and of course, taste the region's wine. Despite its global appeal, Aix maintains a small-town feel. You can walk to the center of town in just fifteen minutes.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
Coursework – Choose one of the following 3-credit courses:
Business 302: Wine Marketing and Analysis
Business 306: The Global Wine Industry
Economics 303: Regional Wine Trade and Economics
Geography 303: Regional Wine Trade and Economics
Hospitality Management 307: Wine and Food Pairing
Wine Studies 302: Wine Marketing and Analysis
Wine Studies 303: Regional Wine Trade and Economics
Wine Studies 306: The Global Wine Industry
Wine Studies 307: Wine and Food Pairing
IAU College, a not-for-profit institution of higher education, has been operating study abroad programs for US college and university students since 1957. IAU College has received students from more than 700 colleges and universities, with over 20,000 participants over its long history. The oldest and largest American institute in southern France, IAU College has recently expanded program offerings outside of France to compare and contrast the languages, cultures, landscapes, and contemporary issues within and between broader European and African locations and contexts.
With operation bases in both the US and France, as well as staff and faculty who travel to and research throughout much of Europe and Africa, IAU College's programs offer a unique cross-cultural perspective. While proud of their French foundation, IAU College are equally enthusiastic about their multi-disciplinary and comparative multi-country study abroad programs. Through intensive study, travel, and reflection, IAU College's thematic traveling programs allow students to gain leaps and bounds personally, academically, socially, and culturally. IAU College continually strives to deliver on its mission of providing "an international education that inspires intercultural awareness and prepares students for responsible roles in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues."
CISabroad is proud to collaborate with IAU College to offer this unique "traveling seminar" or travel-study program.
Accreditation(s): IAU College (formerly the Institute for American Universities) holds an Absolute Charter awarded by the Regents of the State University of New York, is registered with the French Ministry of Education and recognized by the Recteur of the Université d’Aix-Marseille.
Lakshmi N. - Saint Josephs University
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Program Coordinator - Thailand, South Africa, Ghana, Hawai’i, January Multi-Country programs (except Mediterranean Culture)
Application DeadlineOctober 1ArrivalDecember 27 (Estimated)DepartureJanuary 13 (Estimated)PRICE$5,790 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- Cities on the itinerary are Barcelona, Costa Brava, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Sauze, and Cassis
- Visits to the Notre Dame, wine tasting, chocolate shops, and outdoor market
- All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US)
- Breakfast daily and most dinners
- Medical and accident insurance
- CISabroad support before, during, and after the program
- Academic advising
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Pre-departure orientation
- On-site orientation
- Tuition and fees
- IAU College official transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program