agricultural education, international experiences, international programming, study abroad


International programs (IP)continue to grow in importance. There is an increased demand from employers and communities forglobally competent individuals, yetonly 2.3% of Dale Bumpers Collegeof Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences (Bumpers College)students studied abroad in an agriculture-related program during the 2014 and 2015 academic year. This study used descriptive survey methods withUniversityof Arkansasundergraduate students enrolled in Fall 2017 Bumpers Collegecourses (n= 1,758) to determine their perceptions of international experiences. These perceptions included identifying the most influential barriers and benefits to participation. The majority of students were interested in short-term faculty-led programs (n= 1,190, 72.1%), followed by international internships (n= 760, 46%). Studentswanted to participate in an IP during summer I (n= 1,138, 69%), followed by summer II (n= 839, 50.8%). Based on a 5-point Likert-type scale, students reported “cost is too high” (M= 3.83, SD= 1.10) and being “too busy with school” (M= 3.27,SD= 1.18) as the most influential barriers to participating in an IP. Using the same Likert-type scale, students reported an IP being a “life-changing opportunity” (M= 4.49, SD= 1.75)and“sets me apart when applying for grad school/jobs” (M= 4.27, SD= 1.90) as the most influential benefits. The fact that 5.5% of the students surveyed had participated in anIPconfirms that the Bumpers College requires more immersionin order to meet the Universityof Arkansasgoal for 25% international participation by 2020