Exploring, Learning, Discovering on all Seven Continents

More than 400 students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences went abroad on travel courses, to study for semester and year-long programs and to complete service learning and internships abroad during the past academic year. Study abroad programs are integrated into the curriculum and offer a wide array of unique and challenging opportunities for students looking for academic adventure. These transformative experiences offer students exceptional ways to polish their academic and pre-professional skills, making them uniquely suited to be future leaders in their fields.


Landon Kane, senior in agricultural business and international agriculture from Fairbank, Iowa. Landon Kane will come one step closer to reaching his goal of hitting all seven continents through CALS Study Abroad programs this December on a 10-day trip to Antarctica.

What motivated you to participate on a trip to Antarctica?
Going to Antarctica will kind of be like taking a trip to the moon. Because there are no permanent residences, we will be lodging on a vessel on the open sea and using smaller boats to tour Antarctic ice monuments and to view marine mammals, penguin colonies and bird life. I am looking forward to experiencing how vast the world truly is and learning about other research and entrepreneurial opportunities other than the traditional ways we think of agriculture in the U.S.


Kacey Klemesrud, sophomore, animal science, from Osceola Iowa. Kacey Klemesrud said gained patience and appreciation while working to improve nutrition and agriculture education at a primary school in Uganda.

How did your trip to Uganda inspire you?
My first impressions of the impoverished region were swept away when I realized how colorful the Ugandan culture was. Despite the sights of housing crumbling and prevalent disease, everyone I met was always smiling and very welcoming. It was eye opening to be surrounded by this positive attitude and it strengthened my appreciation for the differences in the way people live.


Mason Lewis, senior, agronomy, from Monroe, Iowa. Mason Lewis explored his interests in learning about the difference between U.S. and Australian crop production by completing two trips down under. One as part of the study abroad program and one as a member of the Iowa State Crops Team competing in the Australian Universities Crops Competition.

How did your travel experience change your perception of agriculture on a global scale?
Looking out across the Australian landscape, it was amazing to see the diversity of cropping systems. I enjoyed learning about the production of other farms including vineyards, rice, cotton and orchards.  Being able to tour these farms while still being a tourist was the perfect travel experience for me. Studying abroad allowed me to walk on the other side of the world while maintaining my connections to agriculture.

South America

Courtney Harder, senior, agricultural business and international agriculture, from Hancock, Iowa. As a former marketing intern with CASE IH, Courtney Harder was grateful to tour one of the company’s sugar harvesting plants in Brazil and realize its global agricultural impact.

How has the study abroad program influenced your career decisions?
My travel experience has inspired me to open my mind to global career possibilities. I’ve witnessed the impact of global ties and business relationships and I’ve learned the importance of being able to cater to cultural tendencies. I look forward to applying my experience and knowledge to different regions and audiences. Agricultural practices may be done differently across the globe, but in the end we are all working toward the same end goal.


Nick Jackosky, junior, global resource systems and environmental science, from Lakewood, Ohio. Competing as an Iowa State cross-country athlete helped Nick Jackosky learn how to be a team player. He developed a new appreciation for working with others while participating in the Dean’s Global Agriculture and Food Leadership Program in Rome.

What is an important life lesson you gained while working in Rome?
The research I conducted with my colleagues was eye opening and gave me an overarching view of the world, its resources and all of its moving parts. I think I brought my own expertise to my team by having a limited agricultural background. I now understand the importance of imparting the knowledge I gained with other non-agriculture audiences and I have developed a true passion for agricultural conservation and biodiversity.


Nathan Davis, senior, food science and global resource systems from Sioux City, Iowa. A single course at Iowa State made a large impact for Nathan Davis. After completing a class about the exploration of race and ethnicity in the U.S., he decided to immerse himself in a new culture on a study abroad trip to China.

How did you travel experience make you a better global citizen?
Being from Iowa I had a set view of agriculture, but my trip allowed me to see the big picture of world food issues. Traveling to China helped me realize my desire to solve food related challenges and to be at the forefront of today’s efforts.  I consider myself an experiential learner. Diving into a new environment and being in situations that were unfamiliar to me really changed my global perceptions.

North America

Jacob Lamkey, senior, agronomy, from Gilbert, Iowa. Spending a semester in the Virgin Islands was something Jacob Lamkey never imagined himself doing, but spontaneity inspired him to jump on the opportunity. Lamkey is currently on the island of St. John where he is teaching sustainable agriculture to students in Kindergarten through eighth grade.

How have you applied the studies and skills you have learned at Iowa State?
I have applied the knowledge and skills learned from my classes in agronomy to maintain the school garden and to teach lessons in the classroom. My day-to-day activities help me become a better communicator of agricultural concepts as I interact with students who have a basic background in plant science. This experience has expanded my own knowledge and will assist me as I take on my role as a teaching assistant in Agronomy 114 next semester.