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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Life Among the Paris-tes: Biology class trip to France

Dr. Tim Seott presents on the history of microbiology in France and the opportunity to travel to Paris with Biology 490/590.


Dr. Timothy Secott concluded the Department of Biological Science’s Fall Seminar Series this last Friday, December 4th, with his presentation, “Microbial Culture, or Life Among the Paris-ites.” Dr. Secott discussed the vast significance of Paris to microbiology, from the plague and cholera to Louis Pasteur and the Curies. He also used this time to share the exciting opportunity that Biology 490/590 will offer in the spring, which involves an educational trip to Paris. As Dr. Secott said,

“And oh my goodness it has Louis Pasteur. So France it is,” when he explained why he chose France as the country to travel to for Biology 490/590.

Visiting France will provide the big picture of social impacts, history, and culture for those interested in the history of microbiology. France has experienced the extremes of microbiology, both the bad and the good. For the bad, France was hugely affected by both the plague and cholera. However, huge advances in microbiology were made in France, which is now home to amazing cheeses, breads, and wines. France also brought great advances in medicine and hygiene.

“When we dream of visiting Paris, we often think of the Eiffel Tower, cruising on the Seine, the Arc de Triumph and sipping French wine in a picturesque petit café. With such a rich and romantic history, we often forget that as Paris grew from a tiny village in 52 BC, Parisians were faced with problems of disease, wastes, human remains, and the need to address these challenges. Both bubonic plague and cholera affected the way Parisians lived and worked. Paris is home to one of the world’s oldest hospitals and is associated with famous names in science and medicine such as Louis Pasteur and Marie and Pierre Curie. Several great schools of academic thought grew as development of biological sciences and medicine intertwined, making Paris an ideal backdrop to examine the impact of biology, especially microbiology, on French culture. Part of that culture is food. France excelled in the development of fermented foods and beverages, most notably more than 500 types of cheese and world renowned wines. The workshop and trip offer you an opportunity to explore some of these facets of French culture and history.” – Dr. Tim Secott

The following are included in this trip:

  • Transportation package consisting of round-trip airfare between Minneapolis and Paris and transfers overseas between the airport and your program site on the specified program dates. Mandatory U.S. government and airline-imposed departure taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges are subject to charge.
  • Housing in a student residence with daily breakfast and five additional meals weekly in the on-site cafeteria.
  • Orientation program including a meeting with AIFS staff, half-day guided sightseeing tour of Paris by private bus and welcome dinner.
  • Navigo travel pass for use on the Metro, buses, and RER.
  • Program of academic and cultural visits to include the Catacombs, Marie Curie and Insitute Pasteur Museums, the Sewers of Paris, Musee d’Archeologie, Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, and to a farm with cheese production.
  • Full-day guided excursion to Rouen with entrance to the cathedral and a visit to Aitre Saint Maclou.
  • Access to the AIFS Student Services Office and Program Coordinator for information, personal advising/counseling and 24-hour emergency contact service.
  • Student medical and program fee refund insurance policies.

The program fee is $3,905 based on an enrollment of 15 to 19 participants.

This fee excludes a $125 refundable damage deposit, $40 Studio Abroad fee, passport or visa fees, meals other than those listed, personal expenses, textbooks, additional field trips or excursions required by the Minnesota State Mankato faculty, or any other expense not specified.

Deadline to apply is February 1, 2016

For more information, contact:

Dorothy Wrigley


Timothy Secott


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