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International Opportunities

Zachia Gray '16 at the Museo de la Ciudad in Salta, Argentina
Zachia Gray '16 at the Museo de la Ciudad in Salta, Argentina. Zachia studied abroad in Argentina with the CALS Signature Semester for Pre-Vets.

The Animal Science department doesn’t want you to miss out on the experience of a lifetime—integrate an international experience into your undergraduate career.

There are endless opportunities for Animal Science majors to go abroad during their time as undergraduates.  At present, approximately 30 percent of Animal Science students have at least one meaningful international experience by the time they graduate from Cornell. Don’t you want to be among them?

Animal Science students can study for a semester or year in places such as New Zealand, Ecuador, England, South Africa, and Ireland.  While some students choose to take classes at other institutions abroad, others prefer to participate in field study programs where they can apply their classroom learning to real-world situations.  There are also opportunities for students to join faculty-led, credit-bearing courses and travel to exotic destinations like Ecuador, Australia, and Italy.  There is no one-size-fits-all study abroad program for Animal Science majors; students are encouraged to set a path that meets their personal, academic and professional goals. 

CALS offers several “Signature Semesters” that offer highly customized experiences that cater specifically to Animal Science students.  They are:

  1. Pre-Vet or Dairy Science Signature Semester in Argentina.  The program permits high-achieving students to study and research alongside veterinary students at the Universidad Nacional Del Litoral in Esperanza, Argentina.  Read about the first two pre-vet students who participated in the program during the fall 2015 semester.  Advanced beginner to intermediate Spanish is required. Spring & summer only.
  2. Agricultural Production Practices in Parma, Italy.  Students take four courses in English taught by Italian professors at the University of Parma.  The program also includes three or four practical experience placements so that students can learn about everything from supply chain management, food trace-ability, cheese making, and cooperatives. The program is highly customized and looks a little different each year, depending on its participants.  Beginning Italian is required.  Spring only.
  3. European Animal Management semester in France. This program has three parts: a four-week summer course, "From the Farm to the Fork", a month long internship on a farm, and then a semester of coursework at the master’s level in European Animal Management. No previous language experience is required.  Summer & fall only.

In addition to semester-long options, the Dairy Science Club has an impressive and unprecedented track record of giving students the opportunity to see first-hand dairy management and agribusiness practices overseas. Students have traveled with Cornell professors to Italy, Germany, and in winter 2016, they went to China for the first time in the history of the program.

Special considerations for pre-vet students:

  • Pre-vet students interested in studying abroad can fit this enriching experience into their schedule with careful planning.
  • Any prerequisite courses for veterinary school may not be taken abroad.
  • Grades appear on the transcript but are not part of the overall Cornell GPA unless you are in a Cornell program such as Urban Semester, Shoals Marine Lab, Cornell in Washington, SEA Semester or Cornell in Rome.  Note that in some cases, AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) has factored study abroad grades into an all-encompassing GPA.
  • Follow the pre-vet groups in Chatter for special opportunity postings just for you.

What classes should I take abroad?

The department prefers that students take electives rather than core requirements abroad. However, it is important to know that studying abroad in general is a great opportunity for students to pursue other interests and the experience should be viewed as an opportunity to see a new world, area of study, and way of life. It is a chance to try something new and your international destination should not be solely chosen by your declared major but also by your curiosities or prevailing interests.

Sounds great, what next?

Talk to your advisor about ideas and planning, then head over to the CALS International Opportunities website to explore your options.