Our Global Reach
Expanding experiential learning from the classroom to the world
By Heidi Happonen
Every summer, students in the College of Agricultural Sciences have the unique opportunity to explore the world with a small group of peers under faculty guidance. To ensure access to these opportunities for more students, the college works to provide scholarship opportunities through a variety of experiential learning programs, including the Global Experience Fund and other gifts made by alumni, stakeholders and others who value the educational and life changing impact of getting out of our comfort zones and experiencing the world beyond the classroom. These pages detail handful of these experiences that took place over the summer of 2023 made possible from these meaningful gifts.
FACULTY LEADERS: Dave Stone and Evie Smith (Extension)
DEPARTMENT: Food Science and Technology
NUMBER OF STUDENTS: 16 (Including Ecampus students from six states)
Traveling across Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, Quito, Mindo and the Manabi Coast students visited shrimp farms, coffee farms, chocolate orchards, and many more examples of sustainable agriculture. Sampling excellent Ecuadorian cuisine along the way, students saw first-hand the many examples of the amazing biodiversity of Ecuador while exploring the importance and impact of food sovereignty and agricultural sustainability and conservation of biodiversity from Ecuadorian farmers, scientists and professionals from across Ecuador.
“International travel was transformative for me as a graduate student. I wanted
to make sure to provide similar opportunities for students, particularly low resources students, to help them on their journey as global citizens. I chose Ecuador because it is a famously biodiverse country that is under pressure to develop their resources. They have a strong commitment to sustainable practices in food and agriculture and I wanted students to see their approach and contrast it to their experience. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Ecuadorians are wonderful people with delicious cuisine.” – Dave Stone, Associate Dean International Programs
United Kingdom (England & Scotland)
FACULTY: Dawn Moyer
DEPARTMENT: Agricultural Education & Agricultural Sciences
The goal of this trip is to learn about agricultural practices in the U.K. -- past, present, and future. From exploring the impact of Brexit on the agricultural sector in terms of trade and labor; to how climate change is impacting farming practices and how longstanding traditions such as 'open field' farming are modernizing alongside developing new sustainable agricultural practices.
“I teach a class called "Please Go Away: Global Opportunities for All," which I hope helps College of Ag students start thinking about internationalizing their experience,
whether via my programs abroad or other opportunities. I have seen countless students have an "Aha!" moment while abroad, or return with a completely changed perspective, a new curiosity about others. I have been at OSU 20 years and the impact of an international or cross-cultural experience is still the biggest thrill for me.” – Dawn Moyer
McKenzie Baker (Corvallis campus)
“In Tobermory, I learned about the creamery's closed-loop system, something that I am very interested in as I am focusing on sustainable horticulture and the cheese-making process. Everywhere we went on the property felt like it was very purposeful, and I think that is something that we need more of in agriculture sometimes.
Coralee Bergener (Ecampus)
“Not only did I learn a lot about the UK and how they operate but I learned a lot about myself. I was able to challenge myself on this trip. I was able to get outside my comfort zone. I now know what education track I want to take and hope to revisit the UK with my family one day.”
FACULTY: James Sterns
DEPARTMENT: Applied Economics
The programming on this trip was designed to support the academic content of two, 2-credit Honors College colloquia: "Experiencing French Food and Culture - From Commodities to Cafes" (taught by James Sterns) and "Exploring France's Response to Climate Change (taught by Dominique Bachelet).
“No matter how good of an instructor I might aspire to be in an on-campus classroom setting, I could never come close to the quality, depth, and comprehensiveness of the learning that transpires when I am with students on a study abroad program.” – James Sterns
“By forcing me out of my comfort zone and into a whole new culture, this experience has given me the wonderful opportunity to grow both as a student and as a person.”
“Being a student in an HC study abroad program has allowed me to make indispensable
connections with my peers, with French culture, and with myself that I never would have been able to make otherwise.”
“I’m immensely grateful for this trip. Through the exploration of food I gained a deeper
understanding of another country, exploring culture, economics and the differences in personal and systematic relationships that make France unique.”
FACULTY: Serkan Ates, Paul Dorres, Jennifer Cruickshank
DEPARTMENT: Animal and Rangeland Sciences
The main focus of the program was the sustainable pastoral farming systems of New Zealand. The program involved studying the soil, plant, atmosphere, animal, human continuum involved in ruminant animal meat, milk, and wool production.
This course was unlike any other—a perfect blend of classroom theory, hands-on learning experiences, and breathtaking farm visits that left us in awe of the picturesque beauty of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. The connection between the land, livestock, and community was evident in every conversation we had. I am sure our students departed with a profound appreciation for New Zealand's sustainable pastoral landscapes and the dedication of those who work tirelessly to protect them. I am so proud of our students, who were a smart and inquisitive group of bright young people. They did a fantastic job of representing OSU.” – Serkan Ates