Education Abroad in England and Scotland

Meredith Oglesby ’20
agricultural communication

When I first heard about the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences as well as the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership I was excited to be able to combine two things I love: traveling and agricultural communication.


One of my favorite parts of the trip was the time we spent in London. This is where we flew into from the United States. I absolutely loved hearing the history of the city and seeing the London Tower, the London Eye and hearing all about the Royal Family. It was so fun to be able to be a tourist while also learning about an area I have an interest in. Throughout the trip we visited several agricultural publications which I thought was incredibly interesting. During our visits we were able to hear about the layouts of the publications, how they incorporate social media into their brand and the employee roles. We also learned about the agricultural issues that the UK faces and how these compare to the agricultural issues we face in the United States. It was interesting to be in the UK during the time where Brexit is relevant and the future is uncertain. Being able to hear about Brexit from the perspective of agriculturists was something you wouldn’t get from media outlets in the United States or from visiting the UK as just a tourist.

I enjoyed the time we spent in Bath where we saw the Roman Baths. I had never seen anything so old before and the whole town was so beautiful to explore and walk around. It was cool to learn and hear about history from a perspective different from ours. We are used to learning the role of the United States in global issues and wars. Here, we were able to see sites and listen to the history of the country from the perspectives of Europeans. Thinking about how the English were impacted when they were defeated in the American Revolution was something I had never given much thought to. The English have had several conflicts with the French and to this day you can tell the French aren’t necessarily their favorite people. Many times throughout the trip, we were encouraged to think from a different perspective than what we were used to which was really cool.

Once we entered Scotland everything was so lush and green. I was amazed at the hills and mountains and how beautiful the countryside is. I loved the time we spent in Edinburgh. I enjoyed hearing how the opinions of the Scottish and English differ on different issues such as Brexit. Exploring Edinburgh was beautiful and while we spent time in the UK we heard so much about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. I had never watched Harry Potter or read the books. While in Edinburgh I bought the first Harry Potter book which is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK rather than “Sorcerer’s Stone.” I read the whole thing on the flight home!


Once the official part of the trip was complete we had the chance to travel to other parts of Europe before heading back to the United States. Marlee Stollar and I flew to Paris for a couple of days. This was so fun to explore and see the Eiffel Tower. I loved that we had the flexibility to travel more once the trip ended and even though we weren’t in Paris very long I am thankful we got to see the city and eat some of the food.


This trip was a great experience to visit beautiful places, rich in history and surrounded by lush agricultural ground. I learned more about agricultural communication through our visits to the publications, universities and farms and also was able to see the sights of England and Scotland. I loved learning about the culture of the countries and being able to discuss similarities and differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. I have a better understanding of the current relationship between the U.S. and the UK and am interested in seeing how Brexit works out. I also can’t wait to have the chance to travel more in Europe!

A Day in the UK: Education Abroad in England and Scotland

Paige Schaffter ’21
agriscience education

A review of day 5 of the Agricultural and Environmental Communications study abroad trip to England and Scotland in May 2019.

I’ve never seen college students so happy to stop at a McDonald’s restaurant as I have today. To preface this, the United Kingdom drinks more tea than coffee (surprise, surprise), but the coffee they do have, as I have been told is atrocious. Needless to say, stopping for some fast-food coffee might be the highlight for some students!

We started our day at Rural Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester, England. This area is known as the capital of the Cotswolds, which offers gorgeous scenery! We met with Dr. Steven Chadd, a former administrator, and lecturer at RAU. He talked about the history and background of RAU and the programs they offer.

Most similarly to Ohio State, specifically the Wooster campus, RAU has its own farms. They own over 400 hectares, which is roughly 988 acres. There they have a sheep operation with 400 breeding ewes, a dairy facility with 900 cows, and an organic completely outdoor pig farm with 100 sows and their offspring. The livestock is fed out and taken to market once they reach roughly 200 pounds. I found the facility to be especially interesting because it’s completely outside and because it’s a joint venture with a nearby farmer. Essentially, RAU owns the infrastructure and uses it for educational purposes, and the farmer owns the pigs and pays the labor.

Our next presenter was Dr. Peter Morris LLB (Honors), a communication/media professor. He noted that he’s previously commentated rugby games and equine events and owns his own media and journalism business called Vocal Solutions. Most strikingly, he said that our job as communicators for the ag industry is to use the power we have in a conscientious way and assimilate and validate the information we have. To highlight his point, Dr. Morris showed us a video featuring a very fun and large agriculture event in the UK, but what people don’t see is the “dark side” of ag or all the issues farmers are facing, and the US is experiencing a similar fate. Additionally, the UK is also facing the problem of the lack of broadband internet in rural areas. It’s pertinent to make the internet accessible to farmers for emergencies, market updates, and other uses. Lastly, Dr. Morris said, “the biggest reason why agriculture makes the news is due to sensationalism,” and I feel this is especially true in the United States. In addition to this, the U.S. and the UK also struggle with fake news and deciphering what is true. Not to fear though, Dr. Morris offered us some exceptional advice: Ask where it was reported, where else it was reported, what is the source, and does it “feel” true? Those are the best questions to debunk and invalidate fake news.

Afterward, we took a short tour around the campus to see student housing (which is similar to most universities where freshman live on-campus, and upperclassmen rent off-campus properties with others), dining halls, chapel, and student union/gift shop. Did I need another crewneck sweatshirt? Absolutely not. But when else will I visit RAU?

After RAU, we headed to Bath, England where we visited the historic Roman Baths and hot springs and took a walking tour with Louise around the city. After the fabulous and exciting tour of the city, we went back to the hotel to change and get dinner on our own. Word to the wise, The Scallop Shell has the best fried fish I’ve ever eaten! 10/10 would definitely recommend.