Major: Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS)
Specialization: Community Development
Graduation: May 2018
Program: Alpha Zeta Partners- Brazil
Location: Piracicaba, Brazil
When: January 5th- February 11th 2016
For six weeks, I studied abroad with Alpha Zeta Partners in Brazil. Alpha Zeta Partners is an honorary in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and I am one of the fifteen members of class 17. The focus of the study abroad was to learn about Brazilian Agriculture, and to compare and contrast it with the agricultural industry in the United States. For the majority of our experience, we were in the city of Piracicaba, São Paulo, and studying at ESALQ (Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz), the Agricultural College for the University of São Paulo. This regional campus is comparable to Ohio State’s ATI Wooster campus. Our studies focused on the history and economics of Brazil and agriculture in Brazil.
We did not spend all of our time in Piracicaba; we also traveled south on a five-day trip and north on a ten-day trip. The five day trip took us to the state of Parana and the city Curitiba, Columbus’ Brazilian sister city. Curitiba is known as a sustainable city, and as an EEDS major, learning about their programs was very interesting. One such program provided fresh food from local farmers in return for recyclable trash from the streets. Our ten-day trip, near the end of our time in Brazil went north and included the capital, Brasília.
We had visits and tours to farms, industry factories, co-ops and government agencies. Farm visits included large dairy farms, a hobby goat-cheese farm, and crops such as soybean and coffee. Some other tours included those of the Ohio State Brazilian Gateway, farming co-ops, Pioneer Seed, Alta Genetics, EMBRAPA Research Center, and John Deere. But not everything was strictly educational or agricultural-related, we went rafting in Brotas, to a Carnaval celebration in the Santa Olimpia community; we visited waterparks because businesses were closed for Carnaval, swam around waterfalls near Christalina, had a barbeque at the home of our gracious Professor Perez, visited the zoo and had an entire day at the beach on Honey Island. These are only to name a few of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities I had while in Brazil.
This study abroad was very awakening. I learned so much about Brazilian agriculture and culture, and it has only fed my desire to travel and adventure. I offer many thanks to all those who have supported and shared this experience