'When you go overseas, you see things on a different scale' - Why this lecturer urges his students to work abroad
Approximately a quarter of Agriculture and Agricultural Science students at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) travel to New Zealand for their work placement, with many working in Australia and America when they graduate.
Dr Tony Woodcock, programme leader for the BSc in Agriculture at WIT, said he encourages students and graduates to work overseas where possible, and bring their learning and experiences back home.
"It is fantastic for them to travel. The students have a really great experience. The students who stay at home still do really well, it's not necessary to travel, but it's definitely a positive so I would encourage students to go," said Tony.
"They are exposed to different things, a different working environment and a new social aspect. From a broader context in education, it's not just about learning from books and exams, it's about students having a positive experience."
Both degree courses include a minimum 12-week work placement from the January, Agriculture in 2nd year and Agricultural Science in 3rd year.
Tony said a quarter of students opt to go overseas until they return to college the following September.
"The majority of our students who take work placements abroad go to New Zealand and they work hard. Others stay in Ireland as they are needed at home or they have other commitments.
"Students tend to go to Australia or America after they graduate. We love to see that even though they're not WIT students anymore. When you go overseas you see things on a different scale. It's super to be exposed to that and see farming as such a big industry.