CAFRE students study stateside for a semester

​The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise enjoys collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), through a long-standing Student Exchange Programme.

This partnership offers CAFRE students the opportunity to travel to America and experience life and education on a large university campus. In return students from MSU travel to Northern Ireland to experience teaching and culture.

Keeva McAllister (Ballynahinch) and Emily Linton (Maghera) Food Business Management Honours Degree students at Loughry Campus returned from studying the fall semester at MSU. Recalling their five months spent in Michigan, Keeva said: “Life at MSU is so busy. I reckon that’s why our student exchange programme went so quickly! We spent four days a week in timetabled classes. Emily and I both studied Food Product Marketing and Agri-Business modules. I opted to take Farm Management, Dairy Production and Draft Horse Basics as my additional modules, which allowed me to increase by breadth of primary production knowledge.

“With a firm focus on food I opted to study Food Industry Sales, World Food Population and Poverty alongside Modern United States History,” added Emily.

“With my interest in horses I took the opportunity to spend several days at the Michigan Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show. It was an incredible experience, which I was delighted to be part of and one which would make my fellow CAFRE students at Enniskillen Campus jealous!” joked Keeva.

Whilst living in America the students took the opportunity to travel. In total agreement both students were buzzing about their trips to Chicago, New York and Nashville.

“In Chicago we viewed the city from Willis Tower at night from the 94th floor. In Nashville we went to a concert at the Grand Ole Opry. We took a trip to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit where we got to see the assembly line of the Ford F-150s. We attended lots of sporting games and of course an American Football game that the MSU Spartans team won! Our time in MSU was so cool, as they say in the States,” added Emily.

CAFRE is delighted that each year students apply to and make the most of the opportunity to travel abroad. Agri-food is a worldwide sector and experiencing study and work in a different country offers students the chance to explore other production, processing and marketing techniques adopted.

Looking back her time at MSU Keeva says: “Studying in America has broadened my knowledge of the scope of opportunities that are available for students graduating with a food degree. As a result of guest speakers, career fairs and the professional contacts made with those in the industry I am excited about my future career. The competitive nature of the industry makes hard work and adapting a necessity; however, the promotional opportunities, salaries and rewards make it an appealing industry to grow your career in no matter where in the world you are.”

If you are interested in studying for a food qualification which offers you international opportunities look no further than CAFRE. For information visit: to discover more.

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