International Extension
Training Program 2002

Extension is proud to begin a program to provide professional development opportunities for Extension Faculty in International Extension work.  In the 2001 program year, approximately ten faculty members will be selected for the training program.

Program Goals

As a professional development opportunity, the  International Extension Training Program seeks to:

  • Prepare County Extension Faculty to develop International outreach programs for local clientele.
  • Recognize the interdependence of the U.S. in global economic, social and political developments and issues.
  • Be better able to respond to the needs of individuals and communities impacted by cultural diversity and global interdependence.
  • Recognize ways to provide international trade and development education programs to Extension clientele.
  • Involve Extension clientele in understanding how international linkages/interdependencies affect our daily lives.
  • Provide County Extension Faculty with the opportunity to become involved in overseas projects and U.S. development education efforts.

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Topics for Discussion

  • International Development Programs. 
    What are some of the current issues in international development?  What are the different goals and programs of agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations, and various private voluntary organizations such as Partners of the Americas?  How is Extension and University of Florida involved with these organizations?
  • Extension in the World. 
    How do Extension Services in other countries differ from those in the U.S.?  What is Extension’s role in working with these other systems?  How can we in Florida benefit from the experience of other countries?
  • Designing International Extension Programs
    What should be considered in designing International Extension Programs?  How can we learn what local systems need and what resources they have?  What are some of the challenges and dangers in transferring technologies and techniques from one culture to another?  How can interactions between two cultures benefit each?
  • Sustainable Development. 
    What is meant by sustainability?  What do agriculture, environmental, human development, and business development efforts have in common?  What lessons abroad can be applied in Florida?
  • Living and Working in Another Culture. 
    How might the expectations of Extension counterparts and clientele in another culture be different from our own?  What might it be like to live and work in another culture?  How will spouses and children fit in?  How can what we’ve learned internationally be helpful in working with different cultural groups in our own counties?
  • Developing International Programs at the County Level. 
    How can the experiences of the training program be useful at the county level?  Why is local international programming important?  What resources are available to help develop international programs?
  • Clarification of the Goals and Purposes of University of Florida and Extensions’ Involvement in International Activities. 
    The interdependence of industrialized, developing, and newly industrialized countries in the global economy; issues of marketing, market development, international trade policy; issues of technology transfer and appropriate technology; and the role of U.S. professions, institutions in foreign assistance/development cooperation programs.

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Eligibility

Extension personnel at the county level presently employed by University of Florida. Applicants should have attained permanent status or have six years in Extension.

The characteristics of staff asked to participate include:

  1. A strong background of successful Extension experiences.
  2. Ability to cope with the multiple demands of the training program and Extension assignment.
  3. Demonstrated empathy and the understanding necessary to work with other cultures abroad or domestically.
  4. Commitment to expand and apply the training experience and personal expertise to programs and activities abroad or domestically.
  5. Reflection of a positive image as a representative of University of Florida and Extension.

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Requirements and Commitment

There will be limited direct costs to the participants or their county.  The Program will cover major costs.  Participants are asked to share the time involvement between their official professional role and their own professional development.

During the year, four to eight days of personal time and sixteen days of professional in-service time may be required. 

A period of Fall/Winter 2001  into Spring 2002

Approximately four to six days in 2001 and fourteen days in 2002

  • A)    2001 – Two sessions, two to three days each.
  • B)     2002 – Two weeks of international field training and a two-day debriefing/planning/evaluation session.

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Expected Benefits

For Extension Personnel:

  • An exciting opportunity to test oneself and grow personally and professionally.
  • Continuing contact with international issues and programs.
  • A chance to view one’s work and career from different perspectives.
  • Experience developing resource materials for international programs.

For the Extension System:  

  • County Extension Faculty better prepared to respond to international program involvement, to the needs of people of diverse cultural, economic and social situations.
  • A cadre of professionals with increased energy and commitment to improve Extension efforts domestically and internationally.

For Local Florida Programs and People:

  • Professionals better prepared to serve local needs.
  • Increased understanding of how international issues affect daily life.
  • Resource information concerning county linkages with the global economy.

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Format

Workshops, seminars, field experience to a developing country, individualized study, special projects.

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