Through a University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) exchange program, students from Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN spend a semester taking courses in their field of interest in CAFNR, and CAFNR students spend a summer studying agriculture, food and viticulture at PURPAN. Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN is a school focused on life sciences, agriculture and food science, and is located on the University of Toulouse campus in France.
This year, CAFNR welcomed two students from PURPAN – Anne-Fleur Le Segretain du Patis and Domitille Tissier.
“If students can, they should take advantage of study abroad opportunities,” Domitille says. “This was a great experience for both of us and we learned so much. Studying here was really interesting and rewarding.”
“This was an eye-opening experience and an important one as well,” Anne-Fleur adds. “Study abroad opportunities showcase that we all don’t have the same way of thinking. It’s important to gain those experiences.”
Domitille’s area of study is related to the environment. All of her courses at Mizzou have been focused on that topic and similar disciplines. Anne-Fleur is studying food science.
“I liked that I was able to choose the classes that sounded most interesting to me,” Anne-Fleur says. “My classes were related to nutrition, as well as food science and food properties. Since we have different foods in France, it was interesting to see those differences and study them.
“I am thankful for the food science classes that I was able to take here, too, as it confirmed that I do like this field of study. I would like to find a future career related to food science.”
As students at Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN, Anne-Fleur and Domitille are required to study in another country outside of France. They said they chose the United States to learn English, as well as learn more about US culture. Along with attending numerous Mizzou sporting events and activities, Anne-Fleur and Domitille also made trips to New York City and Miami, Florida. They are planning a final road trip to California before they head back to France, too.
“It has been really fun to meet so many people,” Domitille says. “One of my goals was to experience American culture and American life as much as I could. I’ve enjoyed being in the Midwest, taking in all of the experiences and learning more about agriculture here.”
Anne-Fleur says she was very involved with the St. Thomas More Newman Center while at Mizzou. Through that experience, she met multiple people and made lifelong friends.
“I was lucky enough to spend Easter at a good friend’s house who I met through the Newman Center,” Anne-Fleur says. “It was 100 percent an American experience, which I will never forget. The friends I made through the Newman Center are amazing people.”
Anne-Fleur and Domitille said they were also very impressed with the MU Student Rec Complex and spent a lot of time taking advantage of the available equipment and facilities.
“I went to the rec almost every day,” Domitille says. “It was huge – and it was very cool to be able to meet so many people while working out.”
Anne-Fleur and Domitille will return to France after the semester ends and both have a year left before they earn their degrees. Both said they will look for internships in France when they are back home.
“When we are searching for internships, it’s a big deal that we can speak English,” Anne-Fleur says. “Plus, the classes we’ve taken have been a great resume boost. I’ve had to adapt in several ways, which I’ve really enjoyed.”
“What I’ve done here in the United States, it’s a good thing for me to take back home,” Domitille adds. “Our classes have helped us and it’s been great to see another culture. I was really focused on learning English when I decided to come to America, and I’ve been able to do that. Having international experience is important for me, too, as I’m interested in working in climate change and the environment. The environment affects everyone across the globe. It’s really important work and I’m excited to see how I can help.”