The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Fair informed students on possible study abroad programs Thursday.
Exclusively for students of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the fair shed light on destinations and travel options for studying abroad.
Students attended the fair at the Farm Bureau Pavilion to learn about the 16 upcoming spring and summer 2020 study abroad trips, as well as other options they have for studying abroad.
There are a lot of opportunities for students when deciding what trip to take. Shelley Taylor, assistant director for the agriculture and life sciences administration, said that students have choices to meet many different interests and preferences.
“The most exciting thing about study abroad is if a student can imagine it, they can do it,” Taylor said. “The number of options are almost unlimited. We have programs for students that are ten days long, we have programs for students that are a year long and we have everything in between.”
Dori Kralj, a junior in animal science, has already been on two study abroad trips. Her freshman year she traveled to the U.K. and her sophomore year to Thailand and Japan.
“You get hands-on experience with just seeing the agriculture as well as working with industry professionals,” Kralj said. “You gain a lot more friends and it helps you broaden your networking, especially with seniors.”
Kralj said she was able to connect with upperclassmen who were also students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences while she was studying abroad. She emphasized the impression the people she traveled with left on her and her education.
“You never really think about how somebody is going to impact your life, especially getting to meet different people throughout the College of [Agriculture and Life Sciences],” Kralj said.
Not only can students connect with other students while studying abroad, but they also get to connect with their professors and other Iowa State faculty.
“We have faculty-led programs for students,” Taylor said. “Which are really nice for students that have maybe never traveled abroad before, so they can travel with their class or with their professor.”
Megan Warin is a senior in agricultural business and has taken part in one of the faculty led trips. In the spring semester of 2019, Warin went to Argentina with her professor of economics, Sergio Lence, who is a native of Argentina.
“When we went, we got to spend time at his farm and we got to see his town home as well,” Warin said. “It was kind of nice to be able to see the town with a local right alongside us. He was able to answer questions that we had and he kind of had a connection with people there.”
Warin’s trip to Argentina was one of the many two-week programs offered in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students who are looking for a longer study abroad experience have options, too.
“Students that maybe have a lot of experience, or maybe want to be more independent, we have opportunities for them to go study abroad at another university on their own, or to do an internship abroad [...] there’s just a wide range of options,” Taylor said.
Students who attended the fair were encouraged to fill out an application if they found a study abroad trip they were interested in.
“Each program has a different application because the faculty are looking for different qualities or different eligibility requirements,” Taylor said. “Most applications are fairly simple. They might ask some open-ended questions about what your interest is in studying abroad, what skills you bring to the team.”
Taylor has been on several study abroad trips and said she didn’t have a favorite because she enjoyed them all.
“That’s like picking a favorite child,” Taylor said. “I have never traveled anywhere that I haven’t loved.”
No matter what experience a student is interested in, their study abroad experience begins with their application. The study abroad applications for students can be found on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences website. Applications are due on Nov. 1 for spring 2020 trips and March 1 for summer 2020 trips.