College of Agricultural Sciences to participate in Study Abroad Week

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The benefits of studying abroad range from expanding students’ world views to helping them find a career after graduation. Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will join the University's Office of Global Programs to showcase education-abroad opportunities during Study Abroad Week, slated for Jan. 20-24 at the University Park campus.

The week's events will include information sessions on study-abroad programs, application procedures and funding opportunities, among other topics.

“Study Abroad Week gives students a deeper understanding of what it’s like to study abroad and provides them with the chance to speak one-on-one with education-abroad advisers and international program and internship representatives,” said Ketja Lingenfelter, assistant director for student global engagement in the college's Office of International Programs. She encourages any student who is interested in study abroad to attend the fair.

According to Melanie Miller Foster, assistant teaching professor of international agriculture, international experience helps students to develop knowledge about the world and skills to operate effectively in a global society. She said studying abroad gives them a space in which they can discover how to translate their knowledge and ideas into action.

Another benefit is career enrichment, noted Lori Connelly, director of experiential learning and career services for the college. In fact, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 97 percent of study-abroad alumni find jobs within 12 months of graduation compared to just 49 percent of the general population of recent graduates.

Students in Environmental Resources Management 499: Sustainability and Natural Resources hiked up the Orsano Volcano in the lake region of Chile in South America over winter break. They also studied soil samples at the base of the volcano.  Credit: Tammy ShannonAll Rights Reserved.

Lingenfelter said programs vary on location, duration, time of year and purpose of study. Examples of signature programs planned for 2020 through the College of Agricultural Sciences include studying new world crops in Ireland, exploring food production in Germany and Austria, and examining intergenerational practices in Ghana. And those are just a handful of the opportunities available, she added.

She also said that college professionals will work closely with students to align their academic and international-experience goals.

“We provide funding resources and guidance with choosing a program and applying so students can have the most meaningful experience possible,” she said.

Every year, thousands of Penn State students participate in study abroad experiences — and students in STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math) often have a misconception that studying abroad is not an option for them.

Five Penn State colleges, including the College of Agricultural Sciences, will participate in an open house, “STEM Students Abroad: Mapping your Academic Experience,” designed to address the academic challenges many STEM students face when planning a study-abroad experience. Students can drop by the “Noontime Lounge” in the Hetzel Union Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 22.

Lingenfelter will be among those on hand for the open house. Students can stop in to get tips from academic advisers about how to fit a study-abroad experience into their academic plan and learn how to find STEM courses abroad from experienced study abroad staff. Students in non-STEM fields also can ask questions about the course-equivalency process.

Students can visit a variety of displays and speak with education-abroad advisers, academic advisers, college study-abroad representatives, financial-aid representatives and student-engagement personnel.

Students interested in studying abroad can talk with other students who have international experience to learn about the process of finding an international program that will work for them, how to find courses, how to apply, funding options and other steps to think about.

For a complete list of Study Abroad Week events, visit More information about opportunities through the College of Agricultural Sciences is available by contacting Lingenfelter at or by visiting

Last Updated April 15, 2021