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September 13, 2002

Despite terrorism, record number of ag students study abroad

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Despite the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Purdue University School of Agriculture saw a dramatic increase in students traveling and studying abroad.

"I think the effects of Sept. 11 caused students to realize that working or studying abroad would be a great benefit to their education," said Mike Stitsworth, professor and associate director of international programs in agriculture. "Study abroad is a great way to learn about new places and do things you might not normally be able to do."

A total of 118 agriculture students studied abroad or participated in internships overseas during the 2001-02 academic school year. This is almost a 40 percent increase over the previous year's near-record participation. Of all the Purdue students that study abroad, 22 percent are from the School of Agriculture.

Agriculture students can go to places such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Honduras, Poland, Russia, China, France and Brazil. Study abroad programs are held during the summer and through the regular school year. Students take classes for college credit, or participate in an internship.

Jennifer Meade, of Hillsboro, Ind., is a junior in general agriculture and pre-veterinary medicine who studied in China last summer. She heard about study abroad from a speaker in one of her classes.

"I had originally wanted to go to England, but when the speaker told us about China, I changed my mind," Meade said. "Their economy was so much different than ours, and the trip made me appreciate living in the United States even more."

Mindy Reef, of Berne, Ind., a senior in agriculture communications, heard about studying abroad through her roommates. Reef took classes in France and also worked in a vineyard.

"My roommates participated in study abroad the summer before last and talked me into going," Reef said. "It's a great resume builder, and I had never traveled overseas, so I thought I could only gain from the experience."

The record participation level has prompted the School of Agriculture to create more study abroad programs. Four new Maymester study abroad programs are being launched, as well as a program during spring break .

For more information, visit the web site, or call (765) 494-6876.

Writer: Andrea Campbell, (765) 494-8402, news_students@aes.purdue.edu

Source: Mike Stitsworth, (765) 494-6876, mstitsworth@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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