By Shelby LaRose, AgCareers.com Campus Ambassador for the University of Saskatchewan
The opportunities that are presented to college students during their four years of studies are virtually endless. There are chances to meet different people and ways to become successful in the agriculture industry. One way to do this is to study abroad.
I recently sat down with Chantel Hanson who is the International Education Officer at the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) here at the U of S. She first mentioned to me three great benefits that come with studying abroad for a term:
The Benefits of Studying Abroad
- Endless personal and professional benefits. The connections you make and how you grow as a person will help with your future career. You will have colleagues from around the world that could open doors for you.
- A valued experience by many employers. The experience changes your interaction with people. You will develop new cultural skills and discover a new language which is an added bonus for some employers (especially if you want to work on the East Coast)!
- It allows you to take ideas from home to your country of travel and vice versa. When you study abroad, it will change the perspective on how you see the world. You may want to share ideas around which could potentially impact both countries.
Chantel also mentioned the top three myths that are mentioned when talking about studying abroad. These misconceptions are ones that prevent students from taking advantage of this great opportunity:
Common Misconceptions about Studying Abroad
You need to know another language. Fact: Many of the partner universities for study abroad offer most of their classes in English to make the transition easier.
If you study abroad, it will take you at least 5 years to complete your degree. Fact: your home university works with the exchange university in order to get all of the credits transferred so that you do not have to take an extra year.
Study abroad is only for rich kids. Fact: Scholarships are available for students who need some financial assistance. These scholarships are all dependent on the country you are going to and the university you are currently attending.
I also had a conversation with Caroline Brown who is recent grad from our university and spent a semester at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. When I asked her about her experience studying abroad, she responded, “Studying abroad showed that I was willing to take on a challenge and deal with adversity. I think personally I grew and matured while studying in Sweden. I learned that there are many ways to solve the same problem and grew to appreciate our differences.” She would definitely recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested in the experience! I wish I would have taken full advantage of this at the beginning of my undergraduate degree.
If you are interested in studying abroad, check out your universities study abroad program. If you are interested in taking your study abroad experience further and working abroad, check out this blog post about international jobs and search for international agriculture jobs on AgCareers.com.