Food Studies Abroad

Spain’s agrifood sector is one of the most important in Europe. The country is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and has more acres of fruit and citrus fruit trees and more acres devoted to organic production than any other country in the European Union. Wine production in Spain, which dates back to Roman times, is currently the world’s third largest. The agrifood industry accounts for roughly 9% of Spain’s GDP and employs over 2 million people. To meet the demands of this vital sector, Spanish universities offer a number of degrees aimed at training students in food, agriculture, natural resource management and related sciences. 

At the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and at the Universidad de La Rioja, students interested in food studies will be able to explore practical applications of their background in natural or social sciences. Classes from different disciplines related to food studies are available at both universities. Although many courses assume prior experience in natural sciences, students from other majors will also find classes that fit their background.


Students in Madrid can take two courses at Middlebury’s headquarters in Spain, the Sede Prim, and up to two courses at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). The UAM’s major in Food Science offers courses dealing with food production, health, safety and quality of foods. 

Some of the courses offered in the past include:

-          Anthropology of Food

-          Culinary Technology

-          Food Biotechnology

-          Food Microbiology and Parasitology

-          Food Composition and Properties

-          Nutrition and Public Health

A full list of course offerings can be viewed here.  

Madrid offers a wide range of internship opportunities including options in communication firms that specialize in gastronomy, export companies and restaurants, just to name a few.


Many of Spain’s most renowned wines are produced in La Rioja. Wine is central not only to the region’s economy but also to its culture and identity. The Universidad de La Rioja offers degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Enology that prepare students from around the world to master the techniques of viticulture and the science of winemaking. Students directly enroll in up to 4 courses which can be taken from any of the degrees at the university.  

Courses available in past years have included:

-          Economics and Marketing of Wine

-          Crop Protection

-          Culture of Viticulture

-          Enology I and II

-          Food technology

-          Geology, Soil and Climate

-          Plant Physiology

-          Sensorial Analysis

-          Wine Biochemistry

Complete course listings in Enology can be viewed here.  

To see courses in Agricultural Engineering click here

Internships in wineries might be available to enology students depending on their academic background and language skills.