School of Agriculture
Today's agriculture is truly a global business with commodity prices in the United States dependent on factors such as the rainfall in Brazil, the value of the yen and political decision made in Russia. The WIU School of Agriculture is at the forefront of Illinois universities in addressing these issues by preparing their students for global agriculture in several ways. The role of international agricultural development in solving the world hunger situation, understanding the cultures of those that will play a role in global agriculture and knowing who produces and trades the world's agricultural commodities are covered in International Agriculture 310.
In addition to the basis laid by the classroom material in International Agriculture 310, several study-travel agricultural experiences are offered by the WIU School of Agriculture. Having a Study Abroad international experience on your resume used to be an "extra" - something that was fun and interesting but not essential. Companies want to hire students with international experience because they are more likely to be successful working abroad in dealing with those from other countries. Not only can having a Study Abroad experience help you get the job you want, but scholarship committees also value international experience. Most importantly, the trips provide students with an appreciation of how other lives, as well as a greater understanding of our own culture.
The WIU School of Agriculture is meeting the needs of its students and their future employers by offering trips to Russia and Australia. Additional trips may become available in the future. All of the trips are offered on an every other year basis. Knowledge of a foreign language is not necessary. These trips involve 15-25 students and a cost of $2,500-$4,250 per student.
Upcoming Travel Opportunities
- March 2017: Costa Rica will be the next study abroad opportunity. Interest meetings will be scheduled during the fall 2016 semester.
- For questions, please contact:
Dr. Kevin Bacon
Office:Knoblauch Hall 308
Phone: (309) 298-1084
- Visit the Office of Study Abroad for additional travel opportunities
Spring Break 2016: Brazil was the destination for WIU's "Brazilian Agriculture and Industry" faculty-led study abroad program in March. The course provided students with a first-hand look at Brazilian livestock facilities and field operations for such crops as soybeans, citrus, coffee and sugar cane. Students in the program were able to meet with owners of prominent Brazilian businesses, including a sugarcane farm, a dairy farm and a local brewery, to observe the connections between agriculture and economic growth in Brazil. WIU students were also able to talk with prominent researchers from several government institutes and meet with Brazilian college students to learn more about the Brazilian culture. The program concluded with a trip to the Amazon, where students were able to explore the rainforest.
March 2015: Australia was our fourth trip to Australia! Our earlier trips received rave student evaluations as we focused on Australia's exporting background and use of water resources. This tour includes a fish market, rice farm, orchard, cattle, sheep and horse facilities (including some in the "outback" region) and a winery, plus visits with local agriculture college students at Charles Sturt University. It is a bit more expensive than our other trips due to the plane fare, but well worth the money. Plus, we were honored to have Charles Sturt students and faculty visit us in the summer 2014!
Spring Break 2012: Russia was our fifth trip to Russia - 12 days of experiencing an unparalleled way of life. Russia has a culture rich in the history of the czars, then communism as the center of the Soviet Union, and now a developing democracy. Their agriculture was formerly huge state and collective farms, but is now being reorganized into private ownership. Agricultural sites visited have included cattle farms, a dairy processing unit, a bakery and a grain elevator. Students also get to see the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow and historic St. Petersburg. A highlight is meeting students from Russian agricultural schools - our students find out firsthand what it is like to live and study in Russia. Come find out that Russians are totally different people than what you read about in the news!