International Extension Group Travel Programs​

The international extension travel programs are organized and led by on-campus Extension specialists and targeted at Indiana residents and professionals. The purpose of these programs is to provide a hands-on learning experience while incorporating the value of an international opportunity.


International Agriculture - Purdue in Vietnam 2018

An Animal Science class and Purdue Extension worked together to identify and provide solutions to real agriculture problems. This program focused on food security and environmental challenges in international agriculture. Four Extension Educators were chosen to work with and mentor the Purdue undergraduates of ANSC 495 led by Dr. Elizabeth Karcher. This partnership provided staff and students the opportunity to visit local Vietnamese farms, interact with faculty and students from the Vietnamese National University of Agriculture (VNUA), share real life experiences, and discuss food security challenges while being immersed in a country with a fascinating history, great food, beautiful landscapes, and friendly, engaging Vietnamese citizens. Upon returning to the U.S., students and mentors created short videos and presentations identifying agriculture issues in Vietnam with possible solutions. Partnering Extension Educators with Purdue students is a great way to expose students to extension work and to also pair real life work experience with traditional classroom style learning. 

This effort was funded in part by Purdue Extension and the Animal Sciences Department. Extension Educators that participated in this program included Amy Thompson from Monroe County, Dave Osborne from Ripley County, Mark Kepler from Fulton County, and Jim Luzar from Parke County. For more information contact Dr. Elizabeth Karcher ( or Amanda Dickson (

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Sustainability in Costa Rica - Study Abroad Program 2018

An agricultural, environmental, and community sustainability in Costa Rica class partnered with Purdue Extension to provide a unique experience to its students. This program was an "introduction" to international travel and study abroad for agriculture students who have not traveled aborad and who may be less likely to participate in traditional, longer-term study abroad programs. Dr. Marcos Fernandez, professor, Amy Jones, Plant Sciences, and Bryan Overstreet, Extension Educator, showcased agriculture in Costa Rica by touring organic pineapple, coffee, beef and cacao farms as well as a Dole banana plantation and nature preserves. Purdue students visited a local high school where students are learning about sustainable farming practices. Learning about agricultural practices in Costa Rica while also talking about the differences and similarities to U.S. agricultural practices gave the Purdue students some great ideas of different ways of tackling similar problems.

The Extension Educator that participated in this program was Bryan Overstreet from Jasper County. For more information contact Dr. Marcos Fernandez (, Amy Jones (, or Amanda Dickson (

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Gardens of England

Our goal is to expand Master Gardener's knowledge in ornamental horticulture, landscape, and garden design in a historical context. The program of study focuses on gardens of historical and modern significance near London, in The West Country, and East Anglia. Lectures, a study booklet, pre-/post-tests and course evaluation are included. Participants usually share what they learn with others in their community upon their return. We'll visit and study such notable gardens as Hampton Court Palace, Stourhead, Hidcote Manor, Hestercombe, Iford Manor, Westbury Court, Knole House, Sissinghurst Castle, the Beth Chatto Garden, Bloom's of Bressingham, and the Royal Horticulture Society gardens at Wisley. Free time in London and a visit to Stonehenge will round out our experiences. Priority enrollment is available to Purdue MGs, but MGs from other states are welcomed on a space-available basis.

The program is organized and led by Dr. Mike Dana and Ms. Rosie Lerner of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue. To view detailed information on-line, see England and Its Gardens "More Great Garden Histroy".




Health and Human Science Extension Travels to Ikaria, a Destination for the 'Ages'

Purdue University Health and Human Sciences Extension (HHS Extension) sought to gain a better understanding of what it means to age successfully, hoping to learn from other cultures. To do so, an HHS Extension team read Dan Buettner’s book The Blue Zones, which describes five geographic regions in the world with the greatest longevity. The Greek island of Ikaria was one such place, with nearly one out of three people living to age 90. “Reading this book sparked interest in visiting a ‘blue zone’ to bring back lessons to share with communities statewide,” says Stephanie Woodcox, HHS Extension health and wellness specialist. Blue zones have such success in healthy aging that it seemed like an amazing opportunity to experience how these individuals live and if their lifestyle could be translated to the U.S. Eight county-based Extension Educators from across the state, two on-campus specialists, nursing faculty, and several graduate students participated in this cultural immersion experience.

For more information, read Lessons From Those Who Live the Longest. This story originally appeared in the 2016 issue of Life 360 magazine. This cultural immersion experience for HHS Extension was made possible through the Monhaut Zmola Award, created and funded with generous support from Paul C. Zmola in honor of his late wife, Gertrude Monhaut Zmola. Participants included Jean Akers from Warren County, Naomi Bechtold from Marion County, Meagan Brothers from Gibson County, Jennifer Cannon from Putnam County, Molly Hoag from Wells County, Jane Horner from Cass County, Kelsie Muller from Benton County, Demarcus Sneed from Madison County, Stephanie Woodcox and Christina Swathwood from campus, and Dr. Nancy Edwards from the School of Nursing. For more information contact Stephanie Woodcox ( or Christina Swathwood (

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Past Programs 

International Programs in Agriculture, 615 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-6876

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