Have you ever wondered where your love for the world’s animals came from? Maybe it was countless afternoons admiring The Crocodile Hunter or perhaps it was those treasured class periods spent watching “Planet Earth.” Your appreciation for wildlife and natural sciences may just be so inherent that you simply can’t imagine studying anything else. Well, imagine researching these animals in the habitats they call home while broadening your own ecological and cultural understanding of the world in the process. From Irwin to Attenborough, the greats ventured far and wide in this pursuit. Why not do the same by getting international degrees in animal science?
Why Earn a Degree Abroad
Whether you’re on the farm, near a sunny windowsill, or in a prestigious research facility, animal science is a discipline that you can study anywhere in the world. An animal science major is wild and limitless, and there is much to learn by exposing yourself to the natural diversity of a different country. The historical, cultural, and personal understanding you gain along the way is simply the cat’s meow—or the bee’s knees if you prefer apiology!
Animal science degree programs offer the unprecedented opportunity to study the interactions of animals and the ecology of their regions. Some of the best animal science programs can be found on foreign soils, and international experience speaks highly of your commitment to the world’s dynamic relationship with our four-legged (and two… and three… and, well, you get it) friends. Plus, discussing the time you got to cuddle a newborn kangaroo in Australia or watch a lioness stalk her prey in Africa does wonders in interviews and dinner parties. Having these hands-on experiences in this ever-changing field is highly sought after and the right program may just introduce you to your niche in this varied industry as an animal science major.
Just as a bird migrates to take advantage of the resources of a new landscape, you too must carefully decide where to study, based on program opportunities and your interest in this field (although we won’t judge you if food plays a big factor as well). There are plenty of beautiful destinations that host degrees in animal science, but here’s a few favorites:
New Zealand—the alpha dog of adventure travel. This country is full of high-energy international students and home to some of the best surfing and hiking in the world. You probably know that a dog’s cold, wet nose doesn’t always mean they’re happy; however, your cold, wet nose as you ascend the Southern Alps of New Zealand will certainly bring a smile to your face! Kiwi land will treat students studying animal science to some of the most isolated biodiversity in the world including an unusual number of flightless birds. Who would want to fly from this mountainous and beachy wonderland anyway? You might opt to stay for animal science degree jobs!
Australia. Among the most popular study abroad destinations in the world, animal university courses in Australia boast an impressive number of reserves and game parks that are perfect for any animal lover. Known for its cuddly marsupials and venomous snakes, there is a lot more to Australia than meets the eye. The country is a bastion of biodiversity in and out of the water! The degree programs are ideal for those interested in animal agriculture, management, and research so you can definitely count on some memorable field experiences. Just make some time to take some study breaks and visit those world renowned beaches.
Scotland. Before you commit to a more tropical lifestyle, hold your horses and take a moment to consider animal science colleges in Scotland, the U.K’s northernmost country. This verdant country has a lot to offer animal science students, including an incredible wealth of hands-on opportunities, especially for those interested in equine industries. The Scottish scenery is unmatched featuring a wide array of countrysides, castles, and glacial valleys to explore. The highlands are supposedly the location of a certain famous wizarding school, so you may just be able to take “Care for Magical Creatures” as an elective.
Degrees in Animal Science
Why did the chicken cross the road? You tell us! You’ll find that most degree programs are very flexible and can lead to a variety of animal science careers including research, medicine, biotechnology, education, genetics, nutrition, management and so much more. Choose to learn about the environmental and economic impacts of agribusiness or help preserve the world’s most endangered species. Wherever your interests lie, you’ll learn just how interconnected this field is worldwide although we encourage you to see so for yourself.
An animal science degree abroad allows you to gain unique perspectives to animal and human life around the world. Your program structure will vary between providers and locations, as many courses will be tailored to where you are studying. This means you’ll experience the material first-hand whether you’re in a laboratory, a classroom, or the wilderness doing fieldwork. An undergraduate degree requires little to no experience to apply and can take two to four years depending on your program and schedules. You can choose to pursue your bachelor's in animal science or tackle any animal science graduate programs you can get your paws on. Many undergraduates go on to advanced degrees, which are typically research-oriented and require some prior experience in the animal science field.
Animal science degree programs abroad are usually offered in partnership with a local host university, so you can also expect a very human, close-knit collegiate experience as well. Thinking about it now, maybe the chicken simply crossed the road to go learn about life in an exciting new place. Sounds like a smart chicken!
Benefits & Challenges
An animal scientist degree will likely further your appreciation for the natural sciences; however, earning your degree abroad reflects a deeper desire to understand the immense diversity of the natural world. You’ll explore your distinct passions inside and outside of the classroom, create an international framework for your future career, and obtain practical field experiences that future employers love. The experience itself will allow you to dive into another country’s unique culture and scientific community all while you get to have the time of your life!
Earning a degree abroad is a much longer time away from your home country compared to studying abroad for a semester. This can lead to some serious homesickness although a strong community will remedy that. Additionally, the location and program you choose should reflect your interest in animal science and what you hope to accomplish with your degree. If your interests in the industry change, it’s possible your university may not reside in the best location for this switch, which could result in a complicated transfer process. However, not anywhere near as complicated as organic chemistry. Promise!
Whether you intend to follow in the footsteps of the greats or follow in the footprints of the unknown, earning international animal science degrees will forge a unique path full of meaningful experiences and a validation in your passion for fauna > flora. The industry, the animals, and the applications exist around the world, so why shouldn’t you?