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COVID-19 Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Minimum GPA: 2.75

Terms and Dates:

  • Spring 2021


Jessica Hawkey

Cornell Affiliations:

Agriculture and Life Sciences


Opportunity Description

Since 1954, CALS has offered their students unique opportunities to study abroad via the CALS Exchange program. Through reciprocal agreements with select universities, CALS students integrate themselves into a partner university abroad, taking classes and living alongside degree-seeking students. In 2011, we started establishing the “CALS Signature semesters”, in addition to our existing exchange programs. The signature semesters combine a semester at an international partner university with academically supervised, structured hands-on/experiential learning opportunities like internships, directed research in a lab or field research.

Students who have previously participated in a signature semester have found it to be a rewarding experience as it has added an international dimension to their degree, and allowed them to apply and expand their skills in an international setting. Credits obtained while on a signature semester will be considered Cornell credit, not transfer credit. Students are billed their regular CALS tuition, with no added administrative fees. This is especially advantageous for in-state students. Housing, food, visa, travel, health insurance, books, and other personal expenses are paid separately.

What is unique about this program?

This program is designed to expose CALS students to the variety of agricultural production practices in Northern Italy, specifically the Reggio Emilia province. A particular emphasis is put on studying the intimate connection between production and culture -a key aspect of Italian food production. 

Agricultural Production Practices in Italy is coordinated and delivered by faculty) at the Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy, in the College of Veterinary Medicine (where Livestock Science and Animal Production Technologies is housed). 

Unlike traditional direct- enrollment exchange agreements, this program is individualized and experiential in nature and includes:

  • Four courses delivered by Italian faculty, including: EU Agricultural Systems (Economics); Italian Agricultural System (Economics and quota system); Principles of Food Safety and Quality; and Cultural Aspects of Food Production
  • Italian language instruction
  • Site visits to farms and agricultural- related businesses
  • Academically supervised hands-on industry placements, such as feedstuff producing plant providing feed for the farms of the region; dairy farm producing milk destined for Parmigiano Reggiano production; Parmigiano Reggiano cheese production facility; or Prosciutto di Parma Processing facility. 

How do I apply?

Step One: Attend a CALS Study Abroad 101 Session
•  These meetings cover policies and factors to consider when selecting a program, the study abroad application and approval process, and other important information

Step Two: Meet with a CALS Exchange Advisor
•  The CALS exchange advisor meets personally with every student interested in going on an exchange. In this meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have and the advisor will help you select the program that fits your interests best

Step Three:  Application
•  Apply for the CALS Exchange Program by clicking on the "Apply" button on this webpage. You can apply on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage
•  As part of your application, you need to get the proposed courses you want to take abroad signed off by your major advisor 

Step Four: Nomination
•  Once your application is complete, our office will nominate you to the exchange partner 

Step Five: Partner application
•  Complete the host/partner institution’s online application 

For additional information on this program and all other CALS exchange programs, including links to partner fact sheets and student reports, please refer to the CALS Exchange Program website