Many students believe that studying abroad will cost too much and that there is no way to get funds other than loans. Bill Allen, assistant professor of Science and Agricultural Journalism, has led a winter intersession department experience to Costa Rica for four years. He said that scholarships are always an option when paying for study abroad.
Allen believes that you do not truly realize your own culture until you leave it and immerse in a different one. Studying abroad helps you learn about the world and everything that is happening outside your horizon.
“Go out there, experience and engage the world, we’re now citizens of the world more than ever,” Allen said.
Sadie Kinne, MU agricultural education junior, went to New Zealand last winter through CAFNR study abroad. Kinne said that students should definitely study abroad because it makes you a more well-rounded person.
“Once you travel to another country you understand what their situation is, and you understand the people that live there more,” Kinne said.
Matt Pourney, CAFNR Study Abroad Director, said that by studying abroad you learn about your respective field in a new context. If a student chooses to study abroad for a semester there is a possibility that they will be able to take classes that MU does not offer. Pourney believes that once you study abroad you return with a sense of independence and confidence.
Allen and Pourney agree that studying abroad helps students learn how to be on their own in an unfamiliar environment. Pourney stressed that students should challenge themselves and studying abroad is one way to do that.
Students can gain international experience through programs in CAFNR or the MU International Center. There are many different program focuses and destinations from learning about animal species and their environment in Australia to studying agricultural systems management in Brazil. Program lengths include a semester, spring break, winter intersession or summer program with prices ranging from $3,000 to $16,000.
When asked what they would say to students considering study abroad Allen, Pourney and Kinne all said “do it!”
“For students who want to take advantage of the opportunity and who dive into the experience headfirst it truly can be life changing,” Pourney said.
Kinne said would she definitely study abroad again given the opportunity and has her sights set on Australia.
Incoming students may dream about studying abroad without knowing that it can become a reality. For information on various programs and scholarships, visit the CAFNR Study Abroad website.