International Connections


Amy Bettle

Major: Event Management



Year: Senior

Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: Dean's Global Agriculture and Food Leadership Program
Experience website: https://www.agstudyabroad.iastate.edu/programs/deans-global-agriculture-and-food-leadership-programs-rome
Destination: Italy

Overall experience..
I wanted a study abroad experience that would allow me to build my resume in a meaningful way. The opportunity to conduct research with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization was a perfect fit. I thrived in an environment where we were encouraged to learn from our peers and to solve problems

I learned...
I learned about this opportunity from a friend who also participated in this program. I got to hear her testimony firsthand, so if there is a program that interests you, I would definitely seek out an alum of that program. Then, I read more about the program online and spoke with an academic advisor about it.

An impact to my life...
The project has expanded my interest in food security and international development. The affiliation with the UNFAO also provided great work experience in one of the leading organizations in the field. This has led me to advance my career goals, working with the World Food Prize and the Peace Corps after graduation.

My most valuable learning experience...
One of the keystone features of this program is the development of leadership and teamwork skills. I found this to be the greatest takeaway from this experience. The research was great, but the teamwork skills were the most transferable. I learned how to identify my own strengths and how they fit in with others'. This essential information lays the foundation for effective communication and work progress.

I will never forget...
I made my favorite memories exploring new places with my friends. These moments including taking the train to the beach, trying to find the best gelato spot, and getting lost. I still maintain these friendships after our program ended.

A surprising discovery...
I was surprised at how well I was able to adapt. I quickly learned how to navigate public transport despite being unfamiliar with trains and the language. This learned skill has helped me become more resourceful to find answers before I need them. It has also helped me become more comfortable with asking for help and identifying and communicating my needs.

Advice for others...
First, my study abroad advisors were my greatest asset! They made all the difference in making sure I found the right program and was competitive for scholarships. I would advise taking the time to find a program that will be a good fit. Studying abroad is an investment of time and money, and the right program makes that investment more valuable.

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