A global vision for students! CALS Global Challenger
<At the Ekostation in Germany>
Of the various student support programs at CALS, the one that receives the most attention is Global Challenger. This program provides an opportunity for CALS students to experience at first hand organizations and locations involved in the agricultural industry, and to develop a new perspective on Agricultural Science. Global Challenger allows students to visit famous international sites related to topics that extend beyond agriculture to include areas such as agricultural distribution and international development. Selected students are funded by CALS; the program allows them to cultivate a global perspective on the agricultural industry.
Global Challenger has been receiving applicants continuously every term since 2008. To date, a total of 55 teams and 137 students have been given the opportunity to participate. In this time, they have visited 18 countries, including Japan, China, the United States, Europe, and Australia.
<In France’s Bercy Village>
Global Challenger: participants’ stories
A1: Park, Sang-Seok, Agricultural Economics major
A2: Heo, Yu-Gyeong, Animal Science and Biotechnology major
Q1. What country did you visit, and what was the purpose of your trip?
A1. The topic for our team was “exploring directions for developing the Korean agricultural tourism industry through case studies in Germany.” We visited the German Agricultural Society (DLG), Pension Schlossberg-Blick, and the ZweiTälerLand Tourism Organization in Germany.
A2. Our topic was “improving the competitiveness of the domestic dairy market by exploring the probiotics industry in Europe.” We visited institutions in the Netherlands, Denmark, and France, including the NIZO Research Center and Wageningen UR.
Q2. Could you tell us how you felt about your experiences overseas?
A1. When I was told that I had been selected, I couldn’t believe it. It was only on the day we left Korea that our team truly felt we had become Global Challengers. I was very nervous because it was my first time abroad, but I was more excited than anything. When I got back to Korea, it was amazing to think that I had actually visited the institutions in the books and images I had looked at, while preparing for the experience, and I felt a little pride in myself as well. I think I’ve lost some of my vague fear of travelling overseas. Above all, I feel like my experiences in Germany really broadened my perspective on the world.
A2. I actually had a lot of trouble preparing—I started last year during second semester and felt like I hadn’t done enough, so I tried to do as much as I could in advance during the first semester of this year, but making contact wasn’t as easy as I had expected. However, my advisor provided a great deal of help, despite being at the Pyeongchang Campus; with the help of Professor de Vos at Wageningen UR and everyone at NIZO, I was able to complete my trip safely. The Global Challenger program was a great opportunity to investigate the state of sectors related to my major and future career, both domestically and overseas, and to directly explore the relevant industries.