Wines and Vines
Braden Moore’s Dream Summer in Europe
Braden used CAES study abroad and certificate programs to help further her experience towards a career in viticulture and enology. In one summer, Braden went from studying abroad in Italy with a large group to working on her own as an intern in Greece. We asked Braden a few questions about this incredible experience and her advice for other students.
Braden, you were a certificate student, went on a study abroad, and had an international internship all in one summer. Where did you go and why?
I want to work in the wine industry, so the Cortona Viticulture study abroad was perfect for learning more about wine production. Afterward, I had the opportunity to intern as part of the international agriculture certificate program with a large wine cooperative in Kefalonia, Greece.
Out of all these experiences, what influenced you the most? Did you learn anything about yourself?
In Greece, I lived by myself and didn’t speak the language so it was definitely the most influential experience. I learned that when you have to do something you just have to do it. For example, to get around I needed to drive a manual-transmission car, so I just had to learn.
Wow! You lived in Greece all by yourself!? Was it scary?
There were moments that were a little scary, but the experience definitely got me out of my comfort zone--in a good way. I feel like you can’t truly experience another culture unless you’re somewhat out of your comfort zone. But it is really good to know that I am resilient and can adapt no matter what situation I am put in. Also, every day when I wasn’t working I got to go to the beach so there was never a dull moment.
What do you miss the most?
Cortona is a beautiful town on top of a big hill in Tuscany, and I miss going on daily morning runs in the perfect weather and beautiful scenery. Wine tasting was one of my favorite things to do there too. In Greece, the Greek yogurt was so good--I ate it every day. But what I miss the most is meeting people from all over the world on a daily basis.
How do you feel this trip helped you toward your career goals?
In Cortona, I learned a lot about the production and technical side of the wine business. There was a lab where we tasted wine, which is important for me because I want to become a certified sommellier.
In Greece, I worked with the director of a winery cooperative. Every day, I helped with the upkeep of an organic vineyard and worked in the tasting room with tourists--mostly from Russia and England. I really enjoyed explaining things to them. As a result of this experience I can see myself working in agritourism.
What advice would you give someone who is considering studying abroad?
Just do it. I think UGA programs for study abroad are amazing. Going somewhere on my own after having that initial experience was incredible. Be brave and go for it.
Do you see anything differently now that you are back? Noticed any changed perspectives?
I can’t even eat yogurt anymore because it’s just not the same here. Going overseas really opened my eyes to how big the world is and how many other cultures there are--there is so much more to life than the everyday routine we get caught up in. The world seems so much more diverse and accessible.