MAJOR ADVISING PAGE – Plant Pathology
The Department of Plant Pathology encourages students to participate in a broad array of experiences outside the classroom, including studying abroad. From learning about plant protection from pests in Ireland, to organic production systems in the Netherlands, to studying management of diseases and pests of forest trees in Sweden, to engaging with tropical horticulture in Costa Rica, there are many ways to enrich your studies through an international experience.
Prospective Plant Pathology Students
Study abroad programs are offered throughout the year in Fall and Spring semesters, over the Summer, and during Winter and Spring Breaks. With advance planning, Plant Pathology students should be able to study abroad in any semester, but may choose to study abroad earlier or later depending on their individual academic plan. Many students with additional majors, certificates, or pre-health requirements may find that a summer or winter program fits well into their academic plan. Some students may be able to study abroad multiple times. Students are encouraged to create a four-year plan within Degree Planner that incorporates a study abroad experience and share their plan with their academic advisor.
To gain background information about study abroad and the various programs available, attend the Study Abroad Fair on campus, visit the Program Search database on the UW Study Abroad website, 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 Plant Pathology major, please visit the CALS Career Services webpage to schedule an appointment with a CALS Career Advisor.
Plant Pathology Course Considerations Abroad
Plant Pathology students can take a mix of major requirements and non-major elective courses that count towards graduation during a study abroad program.
You may be able to find equivalent classes that fulfill:
- Breadth courses (social sciences, humanities)
- Plant Pathology major requirements
- Independent research
- CALS International Studies Requirement
Mapping Your Study Abroad Experience as a Plant Pathology Major
Many freshmen are part of a FIG (First Year Interest Group), which is a year-long experience and a great way to meet and connect with other new students. Specifically, FIGS about plants, food, global health, disease, chemistry, biology or genetics may be a good fit for Plant Pathology majors. Freshman year is also a good time to focus on your core foundation courses – namely math and chemistry. Students may consider participating in a study abroad program during the Summer after their first year, or possibly during Winter Intersession or Spring Break.
Once general chemistry and math requirements are complete, sophomore year is a good time to complete major requirements in biology, organic chemistry, and statistics. Many students also take PL PATH 300: Introduction to Plant Pathology, a core course in the major, which is only offered during Fall semester. For that reason, Plant Pathology majors who wish to study abroad for a semester during sophomore year should consider doing it during Spring semester, unless they are able to find a Fall study abroad program with an approved course equivalent for Plant Pathology 300. Winter Break, Spring Break, and the Summer after sophomore year are also great times to consider studying abroad.
Junior year is when students start taking advanced classes in Plant Pathology, as well as more advanced science classes as required for double majors or certificates. Some study abroad programs offer courses that meet the Plant Pathology major requirements. Plant Pathology students can study abroad during a full semester (Fall or Spring) of their junior year. Winter Break, Spring Break, and the Summer after junior year are also great times to consider studying abroad.
Senior year is when students finish taking required courses for the Plant Pathology major and are involved in independent research projects with faculty to complete their capstone requirement. Students should consult with their Academic Advisor to determine whether they are able to study abroad for a Fall or Spring semester during their senior year and complete their final semester requirements abroad. Winter Break and Spring Break are also great times to consider studying abroad during senior year. Some study abroad programs offer field research opportunities which, with program approval, may count towards the Plant Pathology 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?
- What is my rationale for wanting to study abroad? What experiences am I hoping to gain?
- Am I willing to take Summer classes abroad?
- How does studying abroad fit in to my future career goals?
Identifying Programs That are Right for You
The following are study abroad programs that may be of interest to students pursuing the Plant Pathology major. The programs below have various durations and have courses that may count for electives or requirements for the Plant Pathology major. If you do not have specific requirements you need to fulfill, you will have much more flexibility as to program type and location.
UW Tropical Horticulture in Costa Rica
Czech University of Life Sciences Exchange
University of Copenhagen Exchange
Institut National d’etudes Superieures Agronomiques de Montpellier Exchange
University of Hohenheim Exchange
University College Dublin Agricultural and Life Sciences
IFSA National University Ireland, Galway
UW Food Systems and the Environment in Northern Japan
UW Linking Agriculture and Nutrition in Mexico
Wageningen University Exchange
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Exchange
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 plant-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.
Research all programs using the Program Search page. There are many programs that may not be plant pathology-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.