Each year Purdue University partners with Banat University of Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural Sciences, Heifer International Romania and the Asociata Judenteana a Crescatorilor de Pasari si Animale for a service learning course that takes place in rural Romania.
Service learning is a form of experiential learning (i.e., learning by doing, or hands-on learning) where students learn a topic while in service to other individuals or groups. In this course, students learn different facets of livestock production, Extension methodologies and problem solving while working directly with Romanian livestock producers.
We usually take 18 US undergraduates and six Romanian undergraduates. The Romanian undergraduates are participants in the course (i.e., not translators) and take part in all assignments and work projects.
This year's course takes place from May 20th to June 11th. The first work site will be in Vata de Jos--near Deva in Huneadoara County. Here the students will live (in homestays in small groups) and work with Romanian livestock producers. We also plan to assist the community in conducting market analyses for several of the different commodities produced in the area such as milk, cheese, processed meat and honey.
From Vata de Jos, we will travel to our second worksite in Paclisa--near Hateg in Huneadoara County. There is an inpatient hospital in Paclisa that produces a large amount of their own food, including pork, dairy and eggs. We will work with the hospital administrators and managers to develop and implement some solutions to the challenges that they have.
The course wraps up in Timisoara where we will again relax and have a going away party before the US students return home.
We are looking for mature, energetic students who are able to work with people with different backgrounds. Ideal students will be motivated to take advantage of this opportunity to make new friends and learn about each other's cultures.