This is the VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT.
We continue our series of reports about how students from foreign
countries can attend a college or university in the United States.
Today, we tell about universities that teach agricultural science.
The United States Department of Education says there are more
than two-thousand-four-hundred American colleges and universities.
About one-hundred of these four-year schools began as public
agricultural colleges, and continue to teach agriculture. They
are called land grant colleges or universities. Federal land
grants supported the building of most of the major state universities
in the United States.
The idea of the land grant college was developed more than
one-hundred years ago by Congressman Justin Smith Morrill of
Vermont. In eighteen-sixty-two, he wrote legislation to create
such a college in each state.
The name land grant came from the kind of aid provided by the
federal government. It gave each state thousands of hectares
of land. The money earned by the land was to be used to support
The federal government wanted people in each state to learn
better ways to farm. Mister Morrill and others saw a need for
universities to teach agriculture science to improve what was
then an important national industry. A later law helped agricultural
colleges develop new ideas in farm science. It created an agriculture
experiment center at each land grant college to help farmers
One land grant school is the Pennsylvania State University
in University Park, Pennsylvania. About four-thousand students
from other countries now attend Penn State. It costs between
twenty-eight-thousand and thirty-four-thousand dollars a year
to attend. Officials say it is possible for graduate students
to get financial aid by working for the university as a teaching
or research assistant.
Almost two-hundred international students are studying this
year in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State.
All but five are graduate students. University officials say
most international students in the College of Agricultural Sciences
are from Africa, Asia and Europe. They are studying animal science,
plant science, forestry, economics, and food science.
This V-O-A Special English Education Report
was written by Nancy Steinbach, courtesy of VOAnews.com