Behold the World
HHS Leads, Grows Study Abroad
Paulina Segovia, a senior in dietetics, and friends at Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny, Ireland. (Photo provided by Paulina Segovia)
Students can choose from a variety of countries and programs, but Cai says Dublin is quickly becoming a strategic destination for HHS. He says Ireland is one of the most popular locations since English is spoken and there is a shorter “cultural distance” between the two countries, a fact often appreciated by students who have never studied abroad or traveled outside of the U.S.
The Dublin universities partnering with HHS in the exchange include the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University, and Trinity College.
“Instead of choosing one overseas university as a strategic partner for the college, we selected Dublin as the strategic destination for students who want to participate in an exchange program,” he says. “This group of schools covers a range of disciplines, which works well for our college, and their programs accommodate the unique strengths and curriculum requirements of our individual academic units.”
Consumer Science, Nutrition Science, Psychological Sciences, Human Development and Family Studies, and the School of Nursing already have programs up and running in Dublin. The spring 2014 semester marks the first time Health and Kinesiology has sent students to the capital city — two students majoring in athletic training are currently at Dublin City University. Also headed to Dublin for the first time is the School of Health Sciences — a group of 24 students will study at DIT over spring break. In exchange, DIT will send students to Purdue for training and education during the summer of 2014.
“My hope is that the shorter trips we offer will get our students interested in committing to a semester-long program at DIT,” says James McGlothlin, associate professor in Health Sciences. “We have a chance for our students to learn about public health, environmental and occupational health laws and policies in another country. It’s a great opportunity to compare and contrast occupational, environmental, and public health between our two countries.”
The theme is similar for nursing students who engage in the two-week program “Comparative Health Care Systems” at UCD. Now in its third year, the class compares health care delivery in the U.S., Ireland and the European Union. About 11 students participate each year.
“We look at health indices such as life span, major illness, causes of mortality and morbidity, and cost,” explains Jan Davis, continuing lecturer in nursing. “The class is taught in collaboration with UCD’s School of Nursing, which has proven to be a valued educational partner.”
The longest-running exchange program with Dublin is that of Nutrition Science, which began its partnership with DIT in 2005. Each year, about three to five students attend DIT in either the fall or spring semester. They take classes in nutrition assessment, micronutrient metabolism, clinical chemistry, communication techniques in food and nutrition, and Irish cultural studies — all earn credit and meet major requirements.
The longer program length allows students not only to learn in the classroom but to learn through experiencing everyday life in Dublin for several months.