As a student of food science and nutrition, you’ve taken your love of food and dedication to scientific principles and applied them to the noble effort to provide safe, convenient, and nutritious sustenance to your community. Choosing to study nutrition abroad could offer you the opportunity to learn more about the development and distribution of food and the challenges involved in maintaining its safety in environments with unique infrastructure, social, economic, and political considerations. You may also have a chance to create some special memories and to grow not only as a professional, but also as a person. Nutrition study abroad programs offer students an opportunity to see other cultures and study what they love. 

Possible Advantages of Food Science and Nutrition Study Abroad Programs

In addition to getting to see how different societies respond to the food production, safety, and distribution needs of their populations, nutrition study abroad could benefit you through exposure to other aspects of foreign cultures such as language, history, and traditional arts. There’s also the possibility of discovering the many local foods of your host culture. Experiencing what makes another society tick could help you discover interests that might lead you to pursue unique avenues of concentration in your field as you continue on your educational journey.

As an example, you could choose to study abroad in nutrition deep in West Africa in a place like Accra, Ghana. Such a location could be perfect for students with an interest in the many factors that may affect the stable supply of nutritious, safe food in a developing nation. You could apply to spend a year, a semester, or a summer immersed in the history and culture of the Ghanaian people while enhancing your knowledge and skills as a food scientist.[i]

Some Examples of Potential Experiences

Making the decision to study nutrition abroad is only the first step. Your particular concentrations in food science and nutrition, along with your broader interests, would be your guides to determining the specific programs to which you may wish to apply. Programs may be available that could help you continue to pursue your studies while satisfying your curiosity about certain countries or regions, about certain kinds of foods, or even about certain languages.

Some Nutrition Study Abroad Programs Available:

  • Immersion in the culture of Italy — Discover the gastronomy, language, and lifestyle of Perugia, a modern medieval city, while exploring the implications of different approaches to the production, sourcing, and sustainability of the food supply[ii]
  • Exploration of deep topics in Switzerland — Look at issues impacting global food nutrition and security such as global health, forced migration, climate change, food sovereignty, humanitarian crises, obesity, genetically modified organisms, and sustainable agriculture. Experience the social and historical uniqueness of Nyon and Geneva. Receive instruction in French. Dig even deeper into a specific topic with an independent research project[iii]
  • Cultural appreciation in India —  Get the opportunity to learn about the interconnection between communities and institutions in South Asia and how they affect the food supply. Explore Indian culture through in-depth surveys of the traditional systems of health and sustenance provision by journeying to Agra, New Delhi, and Baroda to visit NGOs, schools, modern and traditional healthcare providers, community program sites, and urban and rural families. Readings, lectures, and films round out the experience.[iv]
  • Sustainability in the Netherlands — Experience the Dutch city of Den Bosch while delving into the complexities of international non-profits and corporations. Explore concepts of social responsibility and cooperation between corporate entities around the world. Have the opportunity to learn about different societies’ varying interests and how to reconcile differences to promote sustainable agribusiness. Discover challenges affecting supply chains and work on eco-conscious solutions to ensure safe, nutritious food availability.[v]

Embrace the Challenge

Applying to food sciences and nutrition study abroad programs could be a great choice for you. You may be able to pursue your interests in science and food while potentially having experiences that could change you forever.