UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — College students in Penn State’s Faculty of Agricultural Sciences explored Greece’s wealthy tradition — and its meals — whereas finding out overseas in Thessaloniki, Greece, this summer season.
Offering this chance to Penn State college students was essential to Chris Sigler, assistant instructing professor and educational adviser within the Division of Meals Science. His objective was to assist his meals science college students broaden their experiences exterior the classroom and create networking alternatives.
“I consider that when college students look again on their school careers, they need to really feel that these courses broadened their expertise and understanding of what they’re finding out,” Sigler stated.
With help from the faculty’s Undergraduate Schooling and Ag Sciences International places of work, Sigler labored with Helen Yarenis, research overseas coordinator of promoting and communications for Perrotis Faculty — a part of the American Farm Faculty in Thessaloniki — to permit Penn State college students to earn credit score whereas collaborating in a six-week research overseas program hosted by Perrotis.
College students might take two programs — “Mediterranean Weight loss program” or “Greek Wine Enterprise” — or take part in an internship or analysis. Additionally they studied Greek tradition and language and visited historic websites, resembling Mount Olympus and the Parthenon, and conventional websites, together with a mussel farm and a cherry pageant. And, in fact, they discovered easy methods to make conventional Greek meals.
Lauren Wolf, a second-year meals science main, opted for the Mediterranean Weight loss program course. She stated happening excursions and subject journeys all through Greece allowed her to realize hands-on expertise.
One of the vital fascinating issues Wolf discovered throughout her journey overseas, she stated, was how essential the agriculture business is in Greece. Moreover, she discovered in regards to the well being advantages of seafood and its function within the Mediterranean food regimen.
She additionally discovered that her time overseas allowed her to attach with fellow Penn Staters and meet college students from different universities, which helped her to be extra open to new experiences.
“Finding out overseas helped develop my independence by touring to Greece,” Wolf stated. “Additionally, I really feel it’s helped me develop into extra outgoing and join with others.”
Catarina Rodrigues, a third-year meals science main, is excited about product growth and selected to do analysis at Perrotis that focuses on the product growth of gluten-free and dairy-free snacks. She and her companion baked meals and analyzed their water exercise, colours, textures and different traits.
“Folks would come for style exams and inform us their favourite samples,” Rodrigues stated. “I simply bear in mind feeling so excited at that second, simply doing one thing that was meals science-related, which restored my confidence in selecting my main.”
The expertise additionally enabled them to fulfill meals science majors from different universities, together with Ohio State, Purdue, College of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.
“They now get to study what it’s like to fulfill different meals scientists — as a result of meals science is a really small subject — and so they have the chance to begin networking and collaborating with different college students from completely different universities, who may be college students they find yourself working with within the subject sooner or later,” stated Sigler.
Sigler plans to work with Perrotis Faculty to broaden this system. He additionally plans to guide a small group of scholars again to Perrotis as a part of an embedded spring course, Meals Science 460: Worldwide Meals Manufacturing.
“International engagement is important to strengthen interpersonal expertise and broaden world perspective,” stated Ketja Lingenfelter, assistant director for pupil world engagement for Ag Sciences International. “Worldwide immersion and hands-on experiences not solely permit college students to realize expertise not usually developed in a classroom but additionally to find sides of their potential careers on a world degree.”
This course helps the faculty’s Sustainable and Accessible Research Overseas initiative, which inspires college students to include sustainable practices into their research overseas experiences and makes finding out overseas accessible to all college students.
Additional details about research overseas alternatives by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences is offered by contacting Lingenfelter at [email protected] or by visiting agsci.psu.edu/college students/study-abroad.