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John Ferrick: International study opportunities

[audio:http://news.cals.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/john_ferrick_CALS_international_studies1.mp3|titles=John Ferrick: International study opportunities]

Transcript:

Sevie Kenyon

A whole world of education. We are visiting today with John Ferrick, director of International Programs, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison Wisconsin and I am Sevie Kenyon. Can you introduce us to this notion of students and studying around the world?

John Ferrick

What we are trying to do here in the College of Ag and Life Sciences is really making the classroom the world, that your classroom is much more than what you learn from just here on campus. It is expanding your world your world out into the state, it is looking at what is going on at the national level and then it is connecting all of those to the questions that are out there that you are going to explore and be a part of in the world.

Sevie Kenyon

Why would a student want to go overseas to study, John?

John Ferrick

The excitement, it is learning more about themselves, it is learning more about the world in which they live, but there are also some real practical reasons and one is jobs. When we talk to employers, one of the number one things that they say when they look at job applications and what separates the resumes from others are international experiences. It shows that a student can adapt to different cultures, different places and work with different people. That is really important in the work world.

Sevie Kenyon

And John, can you give us an idea of what kind of opportunities there are for students here at the UW?

John Ferrick

There is a growing number of short term programs where students will look at specific topic areas. For instance, I help run a program in Uganda where we are looking at international health and nutrition, and students that are going into the health professions get a chance to look at what are the issues that are confronting the majority of the world’s population. They take a course where they learn about the different cultural, political, economic factors and then we go to Uganda every winter break and do some hands on experience going to clinics, going to hospitals, going to agricultural research stations. There is a strong connection that we need to do a much better job and we are trying to work with here, and that is connecting the food we eat and the agriculture that we do, with the health of our human and animal population.

Sevie Kenyon

John, can you give us a sense for where in the world they may go?

John Ferrick

We have a great program in CALS with Oxford and Cambridge where students in the life sciences get to go into labs at Oxford and Cambridge. We have the Philippines, we have Norway, Denmark, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras… Our job is to see where the students can connect with faculty and where the faculty have interests, especially research interests because that brings the faculty into it who can really take what they are doing in their research and be able to demonstrate to students how the research they are doing is applied in the real world.

Sevie Kenyon

Where would like to see these overseas opportunities be 5-10 years from now?

John Ferrick

Well if I dream and dream big, I’d like to see something available to all of our students, so that when they come to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, they know that they are going to be able to apply what they are learning to a world contact.

Sevie Kenyon

We have been visiting with John Ferrick, University of Wisconsin Extension and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison Wisconsin and I am Sevie Kenyon.