Agriculture may very well be the oldest area of scientific interest in human history. Yet today the field is near unrecognizable from the days of our earliest ancestors. The changing demands of a free global economy means that agricultural science must stay at the cutting edge of technological innovation if we are to meet the demands of each ensuing generation. Participating in an agriculture internship abroad may just be your chance to make your mark on the field, or at the very least the beginning of your career in the field.
Why Intern Abroad in Agriculture
In many ways, agriculture is the main pillar of a functioning society. Industrialized and developing countries alike need to continuously discover new agricultural techniques if we are to keep flourishing. Agriculture internships abroad are opportunities to learn from another country and culture, while experimenting with new innovative methods and gaining invaluable professional experience. Different countries specialize in different areas of agricultural science, so interning abroad is your chance to hone in on what you think most important, and take off from there.
Farming is important everywhere. Countries like India, China, the United States, and Brazil are some of the leading agricultural producers in the world, and therefore great places to break into the field through an agriculture internship. There are numerous other countries, like Russia and Indonesia, that are also global leaders in the agricultural production of specific crops.
Choosing the location of your agriculture internship abroad comes down to what realm of agriculture you are most interested in. For example, an agricultural internship might take on a significantly different focus in a developing country than in a developed country.
Developed countries often have complex legal and economic frameworks in which the agricultural industry functions under, freeing farmers and agricultural corporations in certain ways and restricting them in others. The developed world also tends to have more advanced infrastructure and more funding for agricultural research, making the it a good place to intern in agriculture if you want to be at the cutting edge of agricultural science and technology.
Developing countries face a much different situation. Not so much occupied with mass production and often oppressed by trade restrictions, villages and rural areas in developing countries are constantly searching for new ways to increase yield and to promote sustainability of local production. Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia are therefore all very popular regions for agriculture internships abroad.
Agriculture Internships Abroad
The field of agriculture is incredibly large and diversified, so there are many different types of agriculture internships abroad that you can pursue. Some will be more hands-on, working in the field alongside locals in order to learn about and develop new agricultural techniques. Some are more hands-off, leaning toward the behind-the-scenes work of data collection and analysis.
You can find agriculture internships abroad in private companies, NGOs, or other non-profits abroad in the field of agriculture. Although with different business models, all these types of organizations are involved in the development and implementation of more sustainable, cost-effective agricultural practices in countries all over the world. Examples of the work you might be doing are analyzing the social and environmental impact of current agricultural practices, inspecting animals and plants for disease and pests, and creating models and reports based on your findings.
Agriculture internships are typically made available to current students and those who have just graduated with a degree in some related field. Living in group housing or with a host family are most popular, as you will likely be working in a rural area away from the big city. Internships abroad typically last between two and six months.
Get Your Hands Dirty. Learning about beneficial agricultural practices in a classroom is all well and good, but taking this knowledge into the field and getting a taste of the profession will bring your expertise to a whole new level. Whether working in the field or behind-the-scenes, the hands on experience you will get looks great to future employers, too.
Live Like a Farmer. Many agriculture internships abroad are located outside the big city, giving you a real taste of the rural farming life. In other countries this can make for quite the authentic cultural experience, away from urban living.
Teach and Learn. Traveling to another country and interning in agricultural science will give you the opportunity to spread your knowledge of innovative agricultural techniques, as well as learn much from the local techniques you will witness. Farming takes on a different form everywhere, and it is important that agriculturalists all over the world learn from one another for the good of humanity.