The Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences encourages Horticulture students to participate in study abroad experiences. Studying abroad provides students the unique opportunity to contextualize the learning acquired in traditional face-to-face courses on campus. There are many opportunities for Horticulture students to study abroad through short-term and semester long programs. Horticulture students also have some exciting opportunities to participate in short term field experiences abroad lead by program leaders from the department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences.
Prospective Horticulture Students
If you are interested in majoring in Horticulture and studying abroad, we would encourage you to gain some background information about study abroad and the various programs available, attend the Study Abroad Fair on campus, visit the Program Search, and/or meet with CALS Study Abroad Advisors.
After gathering information, we would strongly encourage you to meet with a Horticulture advisor, even if you are not ready to declare yet, to discuss programs of interest and how studying abroad can fit into your 4-year plan.
To discuss how studying abroad fits within your career or professional goals in relation to the completion of the Horticulture major, please visit the CALS Career Services webpage to schedule an appointment with a CALS Career Advisor.
Horticulture Course Considerations Abroad
A majority of the horticulture courses taken abroad transfer in as electives so we would strongly encourage you to meet with a horticulture advisor prior to going abroad, especially if you plan to go during a semester. Many of the horticulture classes at UW-Madison are only offered in fall or spring so it is important to plan ahead. If you are looking at a study abroad course to fulfill a core requirement of the horticulture major, it will be important to work with an advisor in horticulture to review the syllabus of both courses.
For students interested in completing their capstone requirement abroad, the department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences offers the Tropical Horticulture in Costa Rica program. Students enroll in Hort 376 – Tropical Horticultural Systems, a 1cr class in the fall and then participate in a two-week intensive field experience in Costa Rica (Hort 378) over winter break. Hort 376 and 378 combined fulfill the capstone requirement as well as the CALS International Study requirement. This course can also count towards the fieldwork experience for the UW Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health.
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Horticulture Major
During freshman year, Horticulture students typically take Hort 120 – Survey of Horticulture in the fall, and many general education requirements including intro math, chemistry, and biology courses. Some students may study abroad during winter, summer, or spring break, especially if they are a part of a First Year Interest Group (FIG) that has a study abroad component.
Sophomore year is a great time to research programs and talk about options with your advisor. If you have completed your intro math and science coursework early, this might be a good year to study abroad during a fall or spring semester. Otherwise, a short-term study abroad experience over winter or spring break or studying abroad over summer are great options. For students considering summer, it is important to be aware that summer is a popular time for horticulture internships and fieldwork. If you study abroad over summer during sophomore year, we recommend focusing on internships/fieldwork the following year.
During junior year, many horticulture students are taking upper level horticulture coursework. Since it is difficult to find direct equivalents abroad for the upper level coursework, it is recommended that students considering studying abroad look at short-term programs over winter or spring break or consider going abroad over summer. Occasionally a student may be able to study abroad during a fall or spring term this year, but it would require careful advance planning.
Many Horticulture majors study abroad during senior year through the Tropical Horticulture in Costa Rica program as this fulfills the capstone requirement.
Questions to Ask
Your Academic Advisor
- What classes must I complete for my degree (breadth/depth, major requirements, etc.)?
- Which courses are likely to be found abroad for my major/degree? Which will I likely have to take here at UW-Madison?
- How do my other goals (summer research experiences, attending medical or professional school, taking a gap year vs. applying right away) fit in with my coursework and timeline for studying abroad? When would be the best time(s) to go abroad?
Your Study Abroad Advisor
- What classes can I take abroad?
- How and when do I select courses for my program?
- When will I know course equivalents for my program?
- What is the class structure like abroad?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
The following are study abroad programs that may be of interest to students pursuing the Horticulture major. The programs below have various durations and have courses that may count for electives or requirements for the Horticulture major. If you do not have specific requirements you need to fulfill, you will have much more flexibility as to program type and location.
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 science or horticulture-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.