International experiences are incredibly rewarding. They give students a chance to gain independence and learn about other customs and way of life. There is no better way to gain academic skills than studying abroad because they can be actively applied in a real-life setting. It is truly a unique experience that allows students to grow personally as well because the environment is so drastically different compared to the United States.
Kelsey Johnson, an animal science student, traveled to Mozambique this summer with the Community Development in Mozambique program. Kelsey and other students worked in groups on projects to gain hands-on experience in their specific disciplines, and benefit a sustainable poultry business called New Horizons. Kelsey worked on a poultry project to reduce the mortality rate of chicks in their first week of life. Other group projects focus on business skills, engineering and water quality, and education and nutrition. Kelsey shared how she benefited from this experience, along with advice for other students. As a student I have always worked hard to ensure I made excellent grades, but many times I think I was just yearning for an A rather than actually paying attention to what I was learning. After seeing the kind people of Mozambique, who would love to get the chance to go to college, I now have a greater appreciation for my education and way of life. Now I plan on working even harder to understand and apply what I learn in the classroom to my life. I also have a much more positive outlook and will complain less, because the people of Mozambique are always smiling and so should I!