Many of you reading this blog are already familiar with my plans for the next year, but for the newcomers, here is the spiel on why I’m packing my bags and moving to Europe:
I’ve been accepted to the master’s program in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG). This entails moving to Pollenzo, about 60 km south of Turin in northern Italy. The program lasts for one year, and the language of instruction is English. (Phew!)
If you are wondering what on earth gastronomy is, let me explain. It is not the study of gaseous stars, but the holistic study of food and its relationship to society, history and the environment. The program delves into sustainable production, and is cosponsored by Slow Food. Course titles include “Medieval Food History,” “Sociology of Food Consumption” and “Food Economics.”
The other popular question is what I expect to do after my year is over. Obviously there are no Monster listings for gastronomers, but alumni have gone on to work for wine importers, marketers, agricultural NGOs, etc. I’d like to go into food writing, but we’ll see where the darts land. The program also ends with an 8-week internship, so that might help open some doors. At the least, it will be a year-long adventure in Italy, with a few field trips to other parts of Italy (Sicily, Umbria) and neighboring countries (France, Spain).
I quit my job on May 14th, leave Chicago to go visit the parentals in MA on the 17th, fly out of JFK on the 23rd, and start classes on May 26th. If you have spare time, please pray that the Euro continues to weaken against the dollar.