German Food and Culture

Apply Now Financial Aid

Quick Information

Academic Date Program Planned to Run Again Summer 2022 –
Credit Hours 3
Requirements 2.5 MU GPA at time of application. Good academic standing. Open to all MU students.
Estimated cost $5,204* (doesn't include airfare)
Contact Shanon Dickerson, Director of Study Abroad
Video Watch Now

The Germany study abroad program offers participants the fantastic opportunity to visit multiple farms, food production operations, research facilities, wineries, and German cultural sites. In addition to visiting several German cities, including Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, students will have the opportunity to spend the final nights of the program in Paris, France.

Over the course of the three-week program, students will be exposed to a variety of food production styles, processing techniques and products different from those found in the U.S. Production systems visited will range from small, family-run operations to multi-national industrial firms. As a counterpoint to these modern facilities and methods, participants will also visit living museums and institutions that feature examples of historical production practices. These experiences, combined with opportunities to directly engage with German culture through meals, housing and visits to cultural/historical sites will provide students with the change to see how agriculture influences food and beverage options abroad.

Participants will travel to several locations throughout the program for overnight/multi-night stays. Although Dr. Gruen is continuously making some small improvements to the program itinerary, students can plan to visit the largest chocolate manufacturing plant in the world (Barry Callebaut), the largest pig slaughtering facility in Europe (Toennies Fleisch), the St. Wendelinshof Hofgut Acker Winery, the Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim Vineyards & Winery, Bayerisches Brauereimuseum (Brewery Museum), Saalfelder Feengrotten, Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Site, Schonberger Strand (Windsurfing), Miniatur Wunderland, Marksburg (oldest castle on the Rhine river), and large metropolitan cities, including Berlin, Munich, and Paris, France, and more!


Germany, the most highly populated member state of the European Union, is one of the predominant economic and political powers in mainland Europe. Worldwide leaders in industry, technology, education and philosophy (to name a few), Germans enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world by GDP, trailing only the U.S., China, and Japan.

Germany has a dynamic, sometimes volatile history from the time of the first arrival of the Germanic tribes (around the 1st century B.C.) through the 20th century. Moving ahead through the 21st century, Germany is poised to remain a key player in an ever increasingly interconnected world.

Accommodation and Meals

Students will be housed in Youth Hostels. The concept Youth Hosteling started in Germany in 1912 and then spread throughout the world. Rooms will be shared, and the number of participants in a room will vary from a single roommate in one location, to four or more in another. Most bathrooms will be shared, community facilities. Students should plan to bring their own towels. All housing costs are included in the program fee.

Although all breakfasts are included in the program fee, a few of the dinners and lunches will be out-of-pocket expenses for students. A detailed itinerary clearly indicating which meals will need to be purchased by students will be provided. Students will be responsible for meal costs not included in the program fee. Though the individual spending habits of each student will vary, please see the budget information below for an estimate of the average out-of-pocket meal expenses.

Program Travel

International round-trip air travel will be arranged for the Germany group. The faculty program leader travels with the group flight to facilitate airport check-in and transfers.  Because of the fluctuation in airline prices, the airfare estimate is listed separately below; however, once group reservations are made and the flight is finalized, the ticket cost will be added to the program fee and billed to participants’ MU accounts.

All in-country program travel is organized by CAFNR and is included in the program fee. Some individual local transportation costs may be accrued by students wishing to explore program locations independently during their free time.

Faculty Leader

Dr. Gruen, a native of Germany, where he earned his undergraduate degree before coming to the U.S. for his Ph.D., has led previous student groups not only to Germany, but also New Zealand and China. As always, he is particularly excited to introduce CAFNR students to his home country!

Dr. Gruen has extensive travel experience, starting with an InterRail tour through Europe when he was 16 years old. His travels have taken him to over 20 different countries on 5 different continents (South America and Antarctica are still missing), and he visits Germany about once a year.  While he is always willing to translate during the study abroad course to Germany, most Germans speak English well enough that participants will not encounter any language issues in Germany.

This study abroad course gives students ample opportunity to immerse themselves into German culture since most evenings are free for students to explore the cities we are staying in.  The group travels by bus between cities, staying between one and three nights in one city before moving on. Accommodations mostly include Youth Hostels, some of which are located in medieval castles.

The course provides a rich mixture of cultural and educational activities. Cultural highlights of the course include a boat trip on the part of the Rhine River that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its beauty in 2002, a visit to the Hermann Monument, which is the equivalent of our Statue of Liberty, and which the Missouri town of Hermann was named after, a visit to the German capitol of Berlin with a tour of the concentration camp memorial site Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg. Educational aspects include visiting three federal centers for winemaking, dairy, and meat research.

A visit to the largest pig slaughtering facility in Europe will be contrasted with a small on-farm slaughtering facility and a very small dairy with farm-gate sales only. After experiencing one of the fastest trains in Europe (TGV), the study abroad course will allow for one day of sightseeing in Paris before returning to the US.


Students earn three credits. Participants can choose either AnSci3190 or FS 3190/FS 3190H: International Meat, Dairy and Enology (all courses graded A/F). Students should work with their advisors to determine how these credits will count toward their individual graduation plans.

Please be aware that there will be approximately three to four mandatory orientation meetings prior to departure. The majority of these meetings will occur in April. Dates and times for the meetings will be available shortly after the confirmed program participant list is finalized, generally around mid-March. Participants will be notified of the meeting details via email.

Estimated Cost

Non-refundable deposit: $350
Missouri Resident Tuition (3 credits): $897*
*Non-resident students will also be billed non-resident fees, but 80% of the non-resident fees will be returned to the student
IT Fees: $42
CAFNR Supplemental Course Fees: $163
Program Fees: $3,507
Intl Center Fees: $245
Total cost estimate without airfare: (includes accommodation and some meals) $5,204
Airfare estimate: $1,000
Additional meals estimate: $500-$750