This year, we had a small group of 7 male and 1 female students. The Field Study (FS) programme in France usually involves a lot of travelling within the country. This time, we landed in Bordeaux via Paris, and visited several first-class chateaux and cooperatives in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. We also had seminars at the Rothschild Wine Research Centre, Bordeaux Sciences Agro and CIBV. After 3 days programme in Bordeaux, we took a train to Amboise, where we could learn about French and European history and culture through the visits to the Clos Lucé where Da Vinci used to live, and other chateaux. Sancerre was beautifully covered with snow, and we attended an informative seminar at the BIVC and visited a winery. We stayed at a magnificent Chateaux Hotel for the evening, which was a memorable experience. The following day, we moved to Dijon to have a seminar at the ESC Dijon, then visited wineries in famous Bourgogne villages. We took a TGV the following morning to move to Paris, where we had a seminar at the OIV. After having a free day, we left Paris to Tokyo via Amsterdam. We are indebted to all the people who enabled this FS programme, not only the French people but also many Japanese people who are working and successfully pursuing their career in France. It was a very comprehensive and fruitful FS, and I would like to express my deep gratitude to all those concerned for their efforts and warm welcome, and to Ms. Shibuya who made the logistic arrangements for our trip.
Not surprisingly, this FS was not without a problem. In Bordeaux, some students missed the tram because it was crowded. In going to Amboise, we had to move up and down the stairs with our heavy suitcases in order to change trains in 1 minute due to the delay in our first train. On the route to Sancerre covered with snow, we had no navigation system on our vehicle to guide us to the destination, so I had to search for the correct route using my IPhone. In Paris, a student was stolen her IPhone by a group of young girls while walking on a street with other students. There were some concerns beforehand because a number of students lacked punctuality and attendance in the preparatory activities. Nonetheless, it was good that all students completed safely the programme. I hope that this FS was a fruitful and rewarding experience for them and that they can thrive on this experience.