Alpha Zeta Partners
AZP is an agricultural fraternity that I have been involved in since my sophomore year of college. I am a member of Class 19! The mission of Alpha Zeta Partners is to develop premier leaders for the future of Agriculture and Natural Resources through leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and experience. Development of members’ cultural intelligence has been a key component to achieving the fraternity’s goals.
For years, the trademark of the Alpha Zeta Partners Townshend Chapter has been the six-week study abroad to Brazil. During winter break of my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to embark on this exciting trip. The Brazil program consists of classroom instruction, tours, and a host stay with a Brazilian family.
I got to experience college classes in Brazil through the instruction of professors at ESALQ, a well known agricultural college. During the classes I learned about everything from the history and language of Brazil to its environment and agriculture.
Along with classroom instruction, we got to spend two weeks on the road visiting various agricultural operations, research entities, processing plants, and more. We visited Cargill, Syngenta, a pork processing plant, a cattle ranch, Coopavel (largest farm show in Brazil), and so many more places!
Another highlight of the trip was spending a weekend with a host family! I cannot begin to explain how valuable this host stay was. Not only did I experience a glimpse of normal family and work life in Brazil, but I also formed a meaningful relationship with my host family that I will have forever. While with my host family, my actual dad and my host “dad” figured out that the companies they work for do business together! The world feels quite a bit smaller when you have friends 13 hours away!
Overall, this organization and study abroad experience have made an enormous impact on they way I think about the world. Brazil taught me so much, but in ways I never imagined. I hope to learn more about other cultured in the future to continue building my global mindset!