Office of International Programs Expands Study Abroad Opportunities

Published on 22 September 2016

About 180 schools applied for the $50,000 2016 Capacity Building Grant, awarded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department and administered by Partners for the Americas in Washington, D.C. The grant was established to encourage colleges and universities to expand their study abroad programs in hopes of exposing more U.S. students to other countries and cultures. Ken Schafermeyer, Ph.D., professor of pharmacy administration and director of international programs, explained.

“There is quite an imbalance, as many more foreign students are coming to the U.S., but far fewer students are leaving the U.S. for abroad,” Schafermeyer said.

The College is one of 18 schools to receive the grant. The Office of International Programs will use the grant to expand international learning opportunities, reach out to more students and their families, develop new Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotation sites and strengthen the office’s presence on campus.

“We have designed unique international learning and service opportunities that not only fit within the curriculum but are also designed to enhance it by incorporating students into international global health programs and pharmacy internship opportunities,” Schafermeyer said.

Currently the College’s international APPE rotation sites include England, Ethiopia, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa and Swaziland. The grant will allow the College to expand this list to include China, India, Nepal and, hopefully, South Korea. By providing expanded opportunities, the office hopes to get more students involved in international travel experiences.

“The program aims to provide pharmacy students with an opportunity to develop or improve their cultural competence, cultivate an empathetic understanding of others and foster a broader world view of issues affecting humanity,” Schafermeyer said.

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