Food Industry Management (FIM) junior Sarah Lokey and Agribusiness Management (ABM) junior Peter Vanderhoff were this year’s recipients of the Jake and Maxine Ferris Study Abroad Scholarship, and traveled abroad to learn about their industries of interest and experience international cultures.
Both high achieving students, Lokey and Vanderhoff chose experiences abroad that focused on hands-on learning and organizational visits.
“Companies operate and market so differently here,” Lokey said. Lokey attended the Marketing in China study abroad with the Broad College of Business, in which students spend two and half weeks visiting Chinese-branches of companies like Dow Chemical, General Motors, Ernest Young, and Amway. “Marketing in China is very different from the U.S. — they don’t have as many privacy laws as we do, and are doing incredible things like using facial recognition to determine how people feel towards an advertisement without even having to ask them.”
While Lokey learned about corporate China, Vanderhoff was visiting local farms in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany on the Dairy Husbandry and Environmental Stewardship trip. “I loved seeing the variety of ways to dairy farm in the Netherlands,” said Vanderhoff. “What surprised me the most was the sheer number of dairy farms that are in the Netherlands, as well as the number of dairy farms that have their cows on pasture — they take a different approach than we do in America.”
While Lokey and Vanderhoff both learned from the differences present in their industry of interest, they also experienced and learned from significant differences in culture. “This experience has broadened my horizons to see how other people and countries go about their days,” said Lokey. “I went out of my comfort zone many times in China varying from food choices to climbing mountains.”
The financial support from the Jake and Maxine Ferris Study Abroad Scholarship made both of these students’ trips possible. “Had it not been for the generosity of this scholarship, my financial situation would likely have not allowed me to attend,” said Vanderhoff. “The scholarship made a big difference for me and I am extremely grateful.”
The Jake and Maxine Ferris Study Abroad Scholarship helps two Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics students cover the costs of an education abroad experience annually. The Ferris’ have been a part of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for decades and continue to be supporters of AFRE and CANR students.