Study abroad opens a world of opportunities
By Ashley Gilbert
As a first-year Purdue University College of Agriculture student, you can travel all over the world. Many incoming freshmen believe that studying abroad is only for upper classmen. However, with the rising number of short-term programs available to students, this myth is being put to rest. In the 2003-2004 school year, 25 percent of the students who went on short-term programs were freshmen, according to Mike Stitsworth, former associate director of International Programs in Agriculture.
Short-term courses take place for one to four weeks, compared with a 15-week semester program. During spring break 2004, 45 agriculture students traveled to Ireland, where they completed a course called AGR 493: "Agriculture in Ireland." These students visited University College Dublin, where they heard guest lectures on various topics, including food in the Irish community. In additon, students studied agribusiness in County Killkenny and had a sightseeing trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
If Ireland isn't for you, don't worry, there are plenty of other options available. Other courses have students studying agribusiness in Hungary and Romania. Students also can choose tlearn about sugarcane research in Brazii, or they could travel to the cool mountain rainforests of Monteverde in Costa Rica.
Top ten reasons to study abroad from a student's perspective
By Andy Fordice
- Learning a new language as you speak it.
- Telling stories once you get home.
- Seeing things that are older than the U.S.A.
- Learning from the people who live there.
- Eating local food.
- Taking the train everywhere.
- Experiencing a completely different culture.
- Seeing things you've heard about in history class for years.
- Meeting friends who will last a lifetime.
- Wanting to go back so you experience it again.
Find out more:
Purdue Agriculture Study Abroad
Students can get involved in the study abroad process their first day on campus. Stitsworth said he encourages all students with an interest to walk into the International Programs in Agricultural office in the Agricultural Administration Building and talk to someone. By talking to staff members, students can receive more information and may realize they can go somewhere they initially thought was out of their reach.
"We try really hard to match up students' academic and financial abilities, with their interests and time frames," Stitsworth said. No foreign languages are required for any of the Purdue Agriculture programs, and there are both need- and merit-based scholarships available to students. Above all, students should realize that it is financially possible to study abroad, Stitsworth said.
Fordice has a message for studentz, too. "I'd tell people that there is more to the world than your backyard, so go explore it."