Mountain Agriculture

Mountain Agriculture — About

About Mountain Agriculture

Enjoy peaceful, prosperous Switzerland and it's splendid mountain vistas, charming historic cities and tranquil farms. Explore Swiss agriculture and culture through intercultural learning opportunities including a homestay with a farming family near the Alps. As you travel around the country and spend time at the Agricultural College of Plantahof in Landquart, you will study different types of agricultural operations including animal farms, orchards, vineyards and vegetable production sites in valleys and mountains. You also will visit cooperatives, tour a cheese factory and meet with local farmers. Having few mineral resources but a highly skilled labor force, the Swiss are experts at using raw materials to make a variety of value-added products, such as the watches, chocolate and cheese for which the country is famous. You will gain an understanding of how history, culture, and tradition have played an important and inseparable role in shaping agricultural practices and food production in modern Switzerland.

Program Dates

May 22 – June 3, 2018 

Course Description

CFAN 3503: 
Switzerland: Mountain Agriculture, CFAN 3503 (3 credits) This is a spring semester B course with 5 classes that begin the week after spring break followed by the study abroad program in Switzerland. The course focuses on the breadth of Swiss culture, encourages intercultural learning and development, and explores Swiss agricultural model and operations. See more information on our website and the attached draft itinerary and syllabus. This course is open to all majors and fulfills the Global Perspectives education theme and the CFANS experiential learning experience theme.

This is a spring semester B course with 6 classes that begin the week after spring break followed by the study abroad program in Switzerland. 

Class Schedule:

March 20 – April 24, 2018

Tuesdays, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

135B Ruttan Hall

Program Leader

Margaret Wallenta, M.A., is an Education Abroad Program Director in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Office of International Programs. She co-taught and lead the Switzerland program in 2015 with Hans-Peter Brandenburger and Agroverde Bergdietikon. She is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.


- Agricultural College of Plantahof
- visits to dairy farms, goat farm, fish farm, vegetable and fruit farms, cooperatives, winery, and more. 
- Tour a winery, a chocolate factory, and a cheese factory 
- Take a mountain hike and a cable car up the Swiss Alps
- Lichtenstein

Estimated Costs

The program fee is $5200 and includes tuition and registration fees, orientation, program administration, international health insurance, airfare, in-country transportation, lodging, excursions, and most meals. In the event that you are not a full time student or are a non-University of Minnesota student, you will also be charged for tuition. The cost of this program will be considered as part of your spring semester cost of attendance for financial aid calculations. You are eligible to apply for May term grants or scholarships for this program. Note that in most cases the award will not be posted to your student account until after the program fee is due. Once confirmed your program fee will be billed to your student account during the spring semester and will be due prior to program departure.

Housing and Meals

Accommodations include dorms and hostels and many farm to fork meal experiences. Most meals are included.

More Information


For more information, please contact Maggie Wallenta at or CFANS Office of International Programs at