Why Students in the College of Agriculture Should Study Abroad

erin-7The College of Agriculture has recently expanded to “The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment.” In equine studies alone, the incoming class is 150 students.  More people are getting college degrees for careers that did not previously need degrees.  Studying abroad gives you a huge advantage over your peers when you apply for jobs.

Not only is studying (or interning, teaching, researching, service) abroad a HUGE thing to put on your resume, it gives you a variety of stories and skills to talk about during your interviews and cover letters.  You know the dreaded “tell me about a time you had to overcome a challenge” question?  Bam-story about how you got lot in a new city and had to use a variety of resources to find your way back home.  How about “tell me about a time you had to overcome adversity?”  Tell a story about how you were in a brand new culture and avoided being “that American.”  Rarely a cover letter or a talk with a potential employer goes by without a mention of my trip to Australia.

Studying abroad also gives you an opportunity to connect with people.  In the equine industry, there are 4 major parts of the world to visit: Kentucky, Dubai, Ireland, and Australia.  Having gone to Australia, I can connect with industry leaders from all over the world on travelling and how different the industry is in different parts of the world.

If the thought of going abroad with complete strangers for a semester is terrifying to you, there are many UK Sponsored programs that go for a couple of weeks with UK faculty and other UK students.  There are possibilities to go in the summer, over spring break, and over winter break.

At the University of Kentucky, the main Agricultural Campus feels like it is in its own world; we are secluded from main campus by the hospital and the long walk, we never have posters or signs about what is happening, and our classes are rarely in other buildings.  It may seem daunting to walk all the way to main campus to visit Bradley Hall to talk about studying abroad, but from one Ag major to another, it is worth it in the end.

Erin Daugherty is a senior pursing a degree in Equine Science and Management with minors in Business and Agricultural Economics.  She studied abroad the summer of 2015 in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia with the “Equine Down Under” program.  Erin witnessed and studied the Australian equestrian community and hopes to use some of their innovations to improve America’s equine industry.