AN SC 499 is an international embedded course traveling to the Azores in early to mid-May (after spring finals), for 10 days, to explore Azorean farming and food production.

Course Name

AN SC 499: Exploring Azorean Farming and Food Production

About the Course

The 0.5 credit spring semester course prior to the summer program at Universidade dos Acores is designed to explore key concepts for dairy production and processing in the Azores, and to identify key cultural transitions that impact food production. It will introduce students to the Azorean islands and the dairy industry. 

To better understand the similarities or differences between food systems in the U.S. and the Azores, students will investigate Azorean agriculture, culture and history and complete a final report. Course meetings in the spring semester will enable the students to complete research about the Azores and interact with faculty from the Azores over the internet.

Travel to the Azores

  • 2 days on Sao Miguel
  • Pineapple growing
  • Tea plantation
  • Caldeira das Sete Cidades
  • 4 days on Terceira
  • Pasture walks
    Mobile milking systems
  • Cheese processing
  • UHT milk and food safety
  • Meetings with UAc students and faculty
  • 1 day in Lisbon
  • Key historical sites
  • Students will have some evenings free to explore

Why Should I Participate?

Students will earn 1 credit total for the AN SC course, experience with international travel, and learn about farming and food production in the Azores.

The Azores are such a unique place, a group of islands in the mid-Atlantic, and an autonomous region of Portugal. With a strong agricultural and dairy industry, this is the perfect place to learn about another culture, try delicious food, and interact with professionals in agriculture while learning more about your area of study.

How do I sign up?

Interested students should email Dr. Lisa Holden, or Dr. Joy Pate, for an application. Details and application deadline TBA.

Estimated Cost

Costs are very tentative currently and will be updated:

  • Summer Tuition (0.5 credit)
  • Airfare: ~$2,000
  • Program Fee: maximum of $1500 if 15 students or more participate
    • Includes lodging, on-ground transportation, most meals, and university host fee
  • Extras: Passport, travel medical insurance, international plan for cell phone, souvenirs, etc.: $Varies
    • There are many examples of "handicraft" items for sale on the islands.

The final cost will vary depending on number of participants, time of booking, etc.

Payment deadlines TBA. A non-refundable deposit will be required upon commitment to participate. All payments are non-refundable once flights are booked and payments to hosts have been made.


  • Student from all colleges and majors at Penn State University are eligible to enroll.
  • Students must be 18 years of age or older at the time of travel. Preference given to Juniors and Seniors, but all are welcome to apply.
  • Student participants must present a valid passport. Students who do not present a passport will not be permitted to travel.
  • Student participants must have the ability to travel internationally. Accommodations for special circumstances will be made whenever possible. Please discuss any special accommodation needs with faculty leader before applying.
  • All payments must be made on time. Students who do not meet the deadlines will not be permitted to travel.

More Information

Dr. Lisa Holden, or Dr. Joy Pate,