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The Agricultural Student and Faculty

International Program

at the

College of Agriculture

University of Saskatchewan

 

The International Exchange Program

The Program at the University of Saskatchewan allows students and faculty to study or work abroad. Both Graduates and Undergraduate students study agricultural issues in the context of a region of the world, gaining an understanding of agricultural and resource systems from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. The curriculum involves both a resource and a regional specialization.

For the regional specialization, students focus on Europe or the Americas. They develop cross-cultural sensitivity through language and culture courses and a period of learning in the region. For the resource specialization, students focus on one resource discipline, such as horticulture or resource economics, or they choose courses from different disciplines related to a resource theme, such as environment or sustainable agriculture.

The program is learner-centered, allowing students maximum flexibility to "take charge" of their education. They graduate with international understanding, problem-solving skills, and a sense of their place as partners in creating a sustainable world.

A program currently under review is the Canada - Chile Exchange Program details of which appear below

 

The Chile - Canada Exchange Program

The exchange program allows student and /faculty to undertake study or research specifically directed in agriculture in a country other than their own - namely Chile or Canada.  The program links the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan with two universities in Chile - the University of Chile and the Catholic University of Chile.  The education program that exists has two goals:

  •  One is an approved exchange program designed to create opportunities for graduate students in agriculture to integrate their education into the academic, cultural and business conditions of Chile or Canada while fulfilling their degree requirements at their own university.
  •  The other provides an opportunity for faculty of either of the universities to teach or undertake research at the university of the other country.

 The program also provides for Canadian and Chilean agricultural students an opportunity to select either study or on-the-job training with agribusiness firms and research institutions in Canada or Chile.

Students/faculty members are able to take advantage of their study/research program with the exchange university to build up their skills for learning about agriculture in another country/culture.For a student, there can be a high pay-off potential from the development of such a program in many fields of agriculture but also (and particularly) in areas of trade and economic diversification, rural development, value-added food processing, environmental and agro-ecosystem sustainability, agroforestry, genetics etc.  

Particularly for the students who would come out of such a program, they would be extremely valuable employees of organization intent on increasing their exports/imports from the partner country.  For example, a Canadian student from the prairies who has lived and learned about agriculture/agribusiness in Chile and who knows and understand how business is conducted in that country and who can speak Spanish could easily find a position either in Canada or Chile that would look at expanding trade in the market of the business which employs him or her.

 The main goal of the proposed program is interdisciplinary nature, with education, learning and training as the priority concerns. With appropriate policies and mechanisms, this program can result in many benefits to students and faculty with the universities working together to help integrate Canadian/Chile agricultural considerations into their activities.

The intention of the program is to improve the ability of the faculty and staff of the institution in each country to contribute to the establishment of linkages fostering sustainable partnerships between Canada and Chile.

Internationalization is a process that has direct benefits for the university's own academic, and student community. In addition, the program will set the foundation for the sustainability of current linkages as well as for future development commitments.

Business Environment

The program is intended to promote of the growth of and understanding of business and entrepreneurship through capacity and skills development in each country. The business environment is extremely favourable for student and faculty links between the two countries. A free trade agreement exists between the two countries which has the objectives of:

  • Eliminating barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of, goods and services;
  • Promoting conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;
  • Increasing substantially investment opportunities;
  • Establishing a framework for further bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation to expand and enhance the benefits of the agreement.

With the implementation of the agreement, Chile has now become one of the most open markets in South America for Canadian agri-food exports. Many products such as breeding animals, juices, lentils and horticultural products have now duty-free access to the Chilean market. Canadian exports of agri-food products to Chile have increased substantially in recent years to over C$164 million. The top agricultural commodity exported to Chile in 1996 was wheat followed by lentils, peas and beans, canary seed and processed foods and beverages.  The most important imports into Canada from Chile of agri-products are fresh fruit and nuts, wine, flour, vegetables, fish and fish meal, and crustaceans.

The University of Saskatchewan

Located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan has as its mission to meet agricultural and food industry needs through teaching, research, and extension and service programs. A strong emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of research and education, ensuring that the College keeps in touch with the realities of sustainable production and processing, responsible resource management, and market development.

The specific responsibilities of the College of Agriculture are:

  • To prepare University students for careers in agriculture, food, and environmental science by providing high-quality teaching programs at the certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to foster in these students life-long habits of leadership, innovation, and service.
  • To conduct research in agriculture and food at both the basic and applied levels for the benefit of producers, processors and consumers.       
  • To play a strong and effective role in technology transfer to the agriculture and food industry.
  • To assist industry and government in fostering economic development.
  • To create public awareness of developments in agriculture and food.
  • T o assist governments in the development of agriculture policies that will lead to prosperity for agriculture, the food industry, and the province.
  • To assist, insofar as resources permit, developing countries in dealing with food production, processing, and marketing constraints.

All these goals fit in well within an internalization program. The University strongly supports the development of cooperative and joint academic and research capacity. In turn, the College of Agriculture is developing a comprehensive international strategy that will fit into the overall internationalization plan.

Benefits of the Exchange Program

The proposed program will contribute to the increased internationalization of the University of Saskatchewan and promote Canadian and Chilean expertise in agricultural trade. The program should strengthen the capacity and understanding of Canadian and Chilean students in the particular fields of agriculture. Each university will develop research and teaching capabilities including, for example, curriculum development and student involvement within the context of the exchange program. Thus, the project will:

  • Increase their understanding of the international environment and will enhance their ability of the universities to take part in development activities in the future.
  • Contribute to the development education at Canadian and Chilean universities and of the community they serve;.
  • Strengthen the knowledge in the field of agriculture across the Americas.

This experience will expand development education and awareness both within the universities and in education activities on the Prairies. Through the university's own outreach activities, students and farmers outside the university can be made more aware of the challenges of development, of the complex web linking all parts of the world. The project will establish the linkage that will contribute to the university's role in Canadian development education by incorporating material on development in the context of the partner country into Canadian curriculum, establishing community outreach programs to involve Canadians in global issues, etc.


Timeline on International Studies

The program offers a comprehensive and flexible undergraduate degree - Bachelor of Science through which students are given the opportunity to customize their degree by selecting both a resource area and region of the world to focus their studies. Students are eligible to apply to the undergraduate program after completing 24 credits of first year university level courses. They can begin the program at the beginning of second year or third year. In the third and fourth years, students pursue a "double major", a resource specialization and a regional specialization.

Graduates from this program will have the global perspective increasingly required for careers in agriculture and other resource sectors, both in Canada and abroad.


The International Program  
College of Agriculture   
51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Sask.. Canada S7M 5A8
Phone: 1+(306) 966-4025
Fax: 1+(306)966-8894

mailto:hucq@duke.usask.ca