If you're tired of just watching videos of cute baby goats in lederhosens and would rather spend your time learning the best way to raise them, hoof it abroad for an international agriculture degree. The subject may not seem like a popular choice due to its stereotypical cowboy-hat and boot-wearing stigma; however, as the world population increases every year — and remain hungry — the industry is advancing quickly, making agriculture jobs high in demand. Why not be outstanding in your “field” and revolutionize agriculture like Temple Grandin or Orville Redenbacher? Take a ride on the wild side by pursuing a degrees in international agricultural development!
Why Earn an Agriculture Degree Abroad
“The food we eat, the water we drink, the land we live on, and the quality of the air we breathe are threatened by depletion on of non-renewable resources, global warming, pollution, and loss of plant and animal species. These challenges affect the whole earth and require international intervention...” — Professor Jan Hopmans, University of California‐Davis, Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources.
Agriculture has been practiced since the dawn of human civilization and is an industry that affects every single person in the world on a daily basis. People need to eat, right?! However, with today’s rapidly advancing technology, there grows a demand for a new crop of students, ones that are eager to learn and share their knowledge (not to mention the fruits— and vegetables— of their labor) with the world.
When you earn a degree from top agricultural universities in the world, you are not simply earning a degree, you’re learning from a global context — super helpful when it comes to gaining skills to combat world hunger and other world crises. Hello UN and World Food Program! Get hands-on instruction, learn how other cultures view agriculture, and belly up to those big issues facing our world community.
You’ll broaden your personal horizons. What better way to learn who you are and what you are truly made of than to uproot from your comfy surroundings and move to a totally new and different place? You can pick up the language. You can make friends with the locals. You can explore your surroundings and take tours off-the-beaten path when you aren’t studying. Plus, you might just decide that you will stay a while longer and continue your education (agriculture graduate programs FTW!) or possibly even plant deep roots and find your first job there.
When choosing a location to earn your international agriculture degree, think big! There are certain countries in the world known for being big players on the world stage of agriculture, so why not go directly to those places and immerse yourself smack dab in the middle of it to better enhance your studies.
Don’t enjoy the hassle of all the red tape involved with applying top agricultural universities abroad? New Zealand and Australia are popular locations because they provide a service that helps make the entire process easier for international applicants. If you are considering going where the action is and are interested in animal agriculture, you cannot go wrong here. After all, New Zealand has more sheep than people of the island! The numerous and diverse species to study in these countries are an agriculture students paradise.
If you are interested in studying cattle ranching and animal agriculture, consider these big players, and earn your degree in Central or South America. Argentina, the land of milk and honey, is an agricultural paradise. If you are interested in studying organic farming, Argentina is a world leader in organic agriculture. It is also second to none in the beef industry, best in the world wine, and a major global contributor to the world’s food basket. So, where better to earn your degree in agriculture, while studying these industries and their environmental impact right in their own back yard.
If you speak Chinese (or want to!), you might want to consider earning your degree in China. With over 200 universities with agriculture degree programs, degree programs in China focus on plant production, nature conservation, environmental ecology, animal production, animal medicine, forestry, aquaculture and agrostology. Some Chinese universities require that you are pass a language capability test and already possess a bachelor’s degree — in essence, China may be a better for agriculture graduate programs like a masters or PhD.
Agriculture Degree Programs
Agriculture is a broad, interdisciplinary field of study that encompasses numerous sub-disciplines, such as agribusiness, agro-economics, agronomy, farming, and animal husbandry. In general, students study the cultivation of soil for the growing of plants, fungi, and animals for human consumption and use while obtaining agricultural degrees.
An undergraduate degree in agriculture will equip you to enter the workforce with knowledge and skills to obtain jobs such as agricultural business management, sales, farming, plant breeder, soil scientist, forest manager, and food production. Expect equal parts laboratory work, outdoor field experiences, and plenty of time in the classroom when attending top agricultural universities. As with most abroad degree programs, an undergraduate degree in agriculture can take about three years to complete.
If you are particularly interested in one specific field of study, it is possible to obtain a master’s or doctorate degree abroad in agricultural studies. Crop science and management, animal technology, and agricultural technology are popular fields for further study. Also, you might be interested in teaching agriculture. Expect to get your hands dirty when earning an advanced degree abroad in agriculture. You will likely spend the majority of your time in an outdoor research farm setting. Expect to earn an advanced degree in international agricultural development in two to three years.
Benefits & Challenges
Internationally obtained agriculture degrees include hands-on experience, exposure to traditional farming practices, and bilingual skills, all of which will give you a competitive edge for future jobs. It shows potential employers that you’re not afraid to place yourself on unfamiliar soil and dig right in. Employers will *favorite* your resume since you sowed an extra row by earning your degree in agriculture abroad!
Earning your degree abroad in agriculture will challenge you and strengthen your interpersonal and intercultural skills. It will prove that you are flexible and can work with different types of people from different backgrounds who speak a different language. Anticipate the peaks — and valleys— of adjusting to different available technologies and resources, as well as different cultural ideologies surrounding agriculture.
Hang on to that cowboy hat, apply for a program, and soar to another country for an agriculture degree abroad. Giddy up!