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Students reflect on American university exchange

Posted 22 October 2013

Kate Jackson, Oliver Corbett and Alicia Mathewson

Three Harper Adams University students are settling back into life in the UK after spending a semester studying at an American university.

Alicia Mathewson, Kate Jackson and Oliver Corbett took part in a student exchange - part of a five-year agreement with Cornell CALS and the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

They are now working towards completing their final year of studies at Harper Adams.

25-year-old Kate from Woodhall Spa is studying BSc (Hons) Food and Consumer Studies. She said: “Being at Cornell showed me a whole new way of studying, and on a much larger scale.

“One of my classes had 600 students in it and we were continually assessed throughout the semester rather than having one assignment and exam at the end.

“It was great to part of an exchange programme as you get to work with students from all over the world, not just America. I made some truly amazing friends there that I still keep in touch with regularly.

“I have already noticed how my time in America will benefit me in my final year. I enrolled on classes such as Food Industry Strategic Issues and Consumer Behaviour  which complement some of the modules I am studying this year. It has also given me more confidence and better organisation skills.”

Alicia, 21, from High Peak in Derbyshire, is studying BSc (Hons) Food Nutrition and Well Being. She said: “Oliver and I studied a course on mushrooms and moulds which was made very interesting by Professor George Hudler.  Every lecture was made fun by his enthusiastic nature, even though there were more than 300 students in the class.

“I also studied an evening class- Introduction to Wines and Vines, in which we would taste six wines each week as well as learning about grape growing and wine making techniques.

“I was lucky enough to share an apartment with three American students who were also studying food science, this made it quick and easy for me to make friends and learn how students live in America.

“Cornell has helped me to prepare for my final year at Harper Adams, teaching me to keep up with background reading and up to date with lecture notes.”

BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management student, Oliver, 26, is from Llanymynech in Powys. He said: “One of the best parts of studying in America was meeting new people - both American and fellow exchange students from Australia, South Africa, Europe and South America.

“Learning in a different system to the UK and meeting the expectations of that system should widen my research and learning capabilities going into the final year at Harper Adams.”

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