Meet Emma Woods! Emma is a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is studying environmental sustainability at the College of ACES (Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences). Emma spoke with Illinois Abroad about how her experience has influenced her career prospects.
This summer, Emma is participating in the ACES in New Zealand at Massey University: Summer National Study Tour and Internship Program. Emma's program offers students the opportunity to learn through exploration and hands on professional experience. The program begins with a fourteen-day study expedition from the southern island of New Zealand to the northern island exploring the diverse natural landscape (from volcanoes to geysers and beyond). Following the expedition, students partake in an internship with a local business. Emma is interning at Black Barn Vineyard in Hastings, New Zealand.
"New Zealand['s] landscape is out of a fairy tale book it's incredible ... [and it] has taught me that life is too short to stay in one place. Future places I hope to visit are Germany, Spain and Australia."
One of the great opportunities associated with study abroad is the added an international perspective to one's degree, something Emma has experienced first hand. "Studying [a]broad has enriched my degree in many ways. I have experienced a culture that is very conscious of their surroundings and environment. Through case studies on the dairy, sheep and wine industry I've been exposed to how big businesses and smaller family farms are dealing with environmental issues such as water usage and pollution.
"After graduation, I hope to use my skills by working with larger corporations on sustainability through product production. I've become a more diverse individual and increasingly independent through studying abroad and hope to use those skills within my career."
You can follow Emma's adventure via her fantastic photo blog, here.