MAJOR ADVISING PAGE – Dairy Science
The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences strongly supports Dairy Science students gaining international experience to complement their UW Madison program and open doors to future career paths. A study abroad experience can provide a unique opportunity to gain a global perspective on dairy production, animal welfare and ethics, animal nutrition and breeding strategies, and animal agricultural environmental aspects, while building regional knowledge, developing intercultural communication skills and networks. Whether studying animal nutrition in the Netherlands, Dairy production in Ireland, or animal agriculture and sustainable development in Mexico, students can incorporate short-term and semester-long programs that specifically match their interests and career goals. Students desiring an international experience have the ability to incorporate a study abroad program within their 4-year plan with advance preparation and scheduling. Department study abroad funding is available to provide financial assistance to students.
Prospective Dairy Science Students
Prospective students should familiarize themselves with the Dairy Science major requirements and explore international programs of interest to complement the UW Madison program. Intentional and early planning is beneficial as you prioritize your undergraduate goals. You should work with your academic advisor to draft a 4 year plan to include degree and major requirements, certificate requirements, what study abroad courses may meet major requirements, and other unique curriculum details. Developing a framework will help determine which study abroad program(s) will be possible and determine the best time to fit a study abroad experience into your academic plan.
To gain background information about study abroad and the various programs available, attend the Study Abroad Fair on campus, visit the Program Search page, and/or meet with CALS Study Abroad Advisors.
To discuss how studying abroad fits within your career or professional goals in relation to the completion of the Dairy Science major, please visit the CALS Career Services webpage to schedule an appointment with a CALS Career Advisor.
Dairy Science Course Considerations Abroad
Dairy Science majors are encouraged to build study abroad into their academic plan and discuss that plan with their major advisor. Depending on your academic plan and degree progress, you may be able to take a mix of major requirements and electives while abroad.
Students interested in completing Dairy Science requirements can select a program that offers coursework related to Dairy Science. This coursework may include specific Dairy Science courses or major elective courses such as animal welfare, genetics, biology, statistics, or Agri business courses. There are highly respected study abroad programs that offer courses with pre-approved equivalents for UW-Madison courses that meet Dairy Science requirements. You are encouraged to consider other programs that meet alternative study abroad goals as well. Several Animal and Dairy Science courses are offered once per year, so you should work closely with the Animal and Dairy Science advisor to ensure requirements will be met. Completing core foundation science courses prior to study abroad is also important. Taking summer courses can help students fit in a semester-long experience without taking heavy workloads at UW Madison. Students considering professional schools should complete prerequisite course work at UW or seek additional guidance to address application of course work from professional school advisors.
The most common requirements that may be fulfilled through a study abroad program are:
- General Education requirements (e.g. Humanities, Social Sciences)
- CALS International Studies Requirement
- Dairy Science Core requirements
- Dairy Science Electives
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Dairy Science Major
Dairy Science students can include a study abroad experience any time during their program. Short-term experiences during Summer and Winter Intersession may fit well earlier into your curriculum, but most students planning for a semester abroad benefit from including a Fall or Spring abroad experience during their junior or senior year. When selecting semester long programs, the program you select will likely determine when the best time will be for you to go abroad. Students with very strong international interests can also consider completing a short-term experience as a freshman or sophomore, followed by a semester abroad.
Steps to get you started.
- Explore and research available programs that interest you
- Meet with the Animal and Dairy Science advisor to review your 4 year plan, benefits of the program, and any special considerations that come with studying abroad
- Communicate questions to the study abroad advisor assigned to the program(s)
- Generate a list of pro and cons for any programs you are strongly considering
During freshman year, Dairy Science majors will focus efforts on completing general education and college requirements as well as introductory major course work. Explore short term programs for Winter Intersession or Summer terms, and research Fall and Spring semester programs that interest you.
During sophomore year, Dairy Science majors will continue moving forward with required Dairy Science courses, general education requirements, and college coursework. Students considering professional schools should include additional core science courses to meet prerequisite needs. Winter Intersession, Spring Break, or the Summer after sophomore year are also good times to consider studying abroad. Sophomore year is a great time to identify which semester abroad program you want to pursue for junior or senior year.
Junior year is the most popular time for Dairy Science production students to complete a semester abroad. By junior year, you will have completed enough coursework to allow you to take upper level and/or specific course work abroad that will enhance your learning abroad. Fall or Spring semester may work well, depending on which program you select, but Dairy Science majors typically complete study abroad during Spring semester. Summer after junior year also provides an excellent opportunity to study abroad that fits in between semesters at UW-Madison. Professional school interests and required course work may also dictate the best time to study abroad; for some students, Spring of junior year or even senior year may be a better option.
There is still time to study abroad during your senior year, especially for students with double majors or professional/vet school students. You are encouraged to study abroad during the Summer prior to senior year or Fall semester of senior year. Senior Fall semester requires careful program selection and pre-approval of required coursework is important to ensure you meet senior capstone requirements.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What study abroad programs are you aware of that have valuable programs in Dairy Science that may match my interests and priorities? (Hint: There is a list of suggested programs below!)
- Can I include study abroad if I want to go to veterinary school or a graduate program?
- Will I be able to study abroad and graduate in 4 years, considering my other goals?
- What are some specific curriculum details I need to consider when selecting a program?
- Are there courses in the major that are offered once a year or that I have to take at UW-Madison?
- What major courses or required courses can be taken abroad?
- How do I determine if my study abroad courses will meet major requirements?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What programs offer coursework that fits well with my major and my personal interests?
- What are my financial aid and scholarship options for funding study abroad?
- How do I select courses for my program?
- What is the process for determining UW equivalents for courses taken abroad?
- What are class structures like abroad, and how do they differ from UW-Madison?
- What is the application and notification timeline for programs and scholarships?
- Why do I want to study abroad?
- How will studying abroad enhance my education and personal growth?
- What are my personal goals, and where is study abroad on my priority list? (e.g. Graduating in 4 years, professional school prereq needs, double major/certificates/honors/research, etc.)
- What type of learning experience do I want? Classroom, research, internship? Short-term vs long-term, during a semester or summer term? Do I want more than one abroad experience?
- Is there a specific country, culture, or language that I want to learn about and experience?
- How will I finance my study abroad experience and what scholarships and financial aid are available?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
The following are study abroad programs that may be of interest to students pursuing the Dairy Science major. The programs below have various durations and courses that may count for electives or requirements for the Dairy Science major. If you do not have specific requirements you need to fulfill, you will have much more flexibility as to program type and location.
Fall and/or Spring Semester
University of Queensland Exchange
University of Copenhagen Exchange
ESA Angers Exchange – International Food, Culture & Agriculture Summer Program
University of Hohenheim Exchange (*Not available for a standalone Fall semester; students can study at Hohenheim for the full Academic Year or Spring semester)
University College Dublin – Agricultural and Life Sciences
Wageningen University Exchange
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Exchange
UW Banking Animal Biodiversity in Costa Rica
UW Global Health Ecuador Field School
ISARA Lyon Exchange – Agroecology Summer School
UW Food Systems and the Environment in Northern Japan
UW International Field Study in Animal Agriculture and Sustainable Development
Other Opportunities to consider:
- Internships or research in university or private settings abroad (check out the International Internship Program)
- Studying something completely different and focusing on your major coursework while at UW-Madison (use the Program Search to identify programs by region, country, language of instruction, duration, or subjects taught) – there are many programs that may not be directly related to your major but may complement your studies by practicing a language, learning about another culture or region, or earning credit towards an additional major or certificate.
Search all Programs
Research all programs using the Program Search page. There are many programs that may not be science or health care-related but may complement your studies by practicing a language, learning about another culture or region, or earning credit towards an additional major or certificate. The above is not an exhaustive list of all programs that might be appropriate. There may be other programs that are a better fit for your individual needs or interests.