Choose-Your-Own, Study-Abroad Adventure

3 students stand in front of a railing overlooking the Moroccan coast Blake Mills, John Owens, and Carlye Winfrey participated in a study abroad experience with Dr. Jason Headrick in July 2022. Photo courtesy of Carlye Winfrey.

With over 2,500 students in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, no two college experiences are going to be the same. It’s especially true for those who choose to study abroad. Why? Because of Texas Tech University’s four study abroad options –– all different, all valuable. 

1. Learn Abroad

According to the Texas Tech Study Abroad website, Texas Tech’s learn abroad opportunities fall under two categories: faculty-led and those through partner universities.  

Faculty-led study abroad opportunities are the most common. University faculty members teach courses across the globe, with many teaching their courses at the Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla, Spain. This is the type of opportunity senior agricultural communications student Carlye Winfrey embarked on during the summer of 2022 while enrolled in Horses of World Art and Introduction to Agricultural Leadership. 

“It’s really neat to see Texas Tech have a campus in Spain,” Winfrey said. “It’s very well known, especially in the city of Sevilla.” 

In addition to its campus in Spain, Texas Tech also has a campus in Costa Rica, making it easy for students to further customize their experience by participating in faculty-led courses, such as Independent Study in Wind Energy or Tropical Ecology and Conservation.  

In partner university experiences, students are given the opportunity to participate in an exchange program and study at a university in another country, such as La Trobe University in Australia or University of Reutlingen in Germany. An extensive list of partner universities can be found on the Texas Tech Study Abroad website. 

2. Research Abroad

As shared on the university’s study abroad website, undergraduate students interested in taking their research worldwide can take part in a research abroad experience through Texas Tech. Working in partnership with the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences, the Texas Tech Study Abroad office provides students with the opportunity to study various international issues and conduct research in hopes of solving the presented problems. In an opportunity available to only agriculture majors, Davis College students can choose to conduct research at Lanzhou University in China.  

Those interested in research abroad opportunities are encouraged to visit the university’s study abroad website. 

3. Intern Abroad

With the option to intern abroad, students can complete degree requirements while working internationally. Doing so also provides them with personal and professional development they are unable to obtain in the United States, as explained by the study abroad website. 

Courtney Meyers, Ph.D., a professor of agricultural communications, opted for this path as a graduate student when a learn abroad experience failed to fit within her undergraduate timeframe. 

“I went to Scotland and worked for the Scottish Agricultural College in their marketing department,” Meyers said. “I didn’t get paid, but I was there for about seven to eight weeks, and it was just a phenomenal experience.” 

4. Serve Abroad

Of the four study abroad experiences, the serve abroad opportunity remains the smallest piece of the program with minimal general opportunities and few college-specific opportunities. Students looking to serve abroad are likely searching for the opportunity to practice the civic engagement techniques they are learning in classes. 

Outlined by the study abroad website, the only serve abroad opportunity available to Davis College students is a service-learning experience in Peru sponsored by International Studies Abroad.  

Because of the endless avenues open to international agriculture, Davis College students can tailor any of the four study abroad experiences to their degree plan or career goals. They simply need to find the opportunity that suits them and go for it –– there’s something out there for everyone.  

“I just can’t advocate [it] enough; I think people should study abroad,” Winfrey said. “I just think it’s a fascinating experience that you can’t be taught through a computer. You have to go and see it for yourself.”