Study Abroad – Drug Regulation

International experiences are an integral component of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences education at USC’s Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, helping students prepare for careers in global healthcare. Undergraduate study abroad programs at USC offer students international experiences while PharmDs can take part in a two-year joint program between Keck Graduate Institute and City of Hope to learn about pharmaceutical regulation in another country.

Studying abroad can broaden a medical or health student’s professional perspective and offer invaluable insights into different medical systems, culturally-influenced norms, and multicultural environments. Furthermore, studying abroad increases patients and colleagues who the health student can interact with – an invaluable asset when embarking upon their healthcare or medical careers.

In 2016, North Dakota State University pre-professional and PharmD students took advantage of an elective study abroad course offered in Ireland during a three-week trip between spring and summer semesters. Faculty members provided students with coursework comparing Irish health care delivery systems with US systems as well as participating in history and cultural activities throughout Ireland. Students had to keep a journal of daily reflections as well as write a term paper and make an oral presentation about their experiences during Ireland.

Students traveling overseas should always follow their doctor’s orders when it comes to taking medications prescribed to them by their physician. If an exact replica of their original prescription cannot be filled by local pharmacies, students should ensure they bring along copies for reference and ensure sufficient supplies of syringes – these may not always be readily available abroad and could even be considered drug paraphernalia – may be packed as well as necessary.

Alcohol and illicit drug use can significantly diminish a student’s experience abroad, which is why Pace University strongly advises all of its students to consume responsibly on academic trips abroad. Should someone be found under the influence of drugs while abroad, they will be removed from their program at their expense and may face penalties under both local law and Pace University policies.

Studying abroad is an invaluable opportunity to expand one’s global perspective and gain more knowledge of pharmacy from other parts of the globe. Students may even use their experiences abroad to assess their own healthcare practices and discover how they might better serve a diverse population.


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