Published on October 27, 2020 by Sarah Waller  
Students in Gernada Spain 2019
Faculty and students in a pharmacy in Granada, Spain in 2019.

While COVID-19 has paused international travel this year, Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy remains committed to offering its students opportunities for global engagement in the years to come. To demonstrate this commitment, the school recently renewed several of its international agreements with health care institutions around the world.

“Global engagement is a key part of our mission to ‘improve health worldwide’ and an opportunity for our students to personalize their Pharm.D.,” said Michael Crouch, dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy and associate provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences. “As soon as it’s safe to do so, we will begin offering these experiences again, hopefully beginning this summer.”

McWhorter School of Pharmacy holds international agreements across five continents with partners including Canada, China, Egypt, Great Britain, Japan, Macau, Paraguay, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania and Thailand. Students most often engage in international study through study abroad and advanced pharmacy practice experiences. Additionally, students often participate in summer mission trips with partner organizations. 

Study Abroad

Traditionally, each May, rising third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students can enroll in a study abroad elective with options to travel to either England, Spain or Tanzania. 

In Europe, students spend two weeks experiencing pharmacy practice as a part of a national health care system in either London, England or Granada, Spain. Led by McWhorter School of Pharmacy faculty, the courses are designed to provide students an immersive experience, showing similarities and differences within international cultures and contexts. 

In addition, the Tanzania elective is the school’s newest study abroad opportunity, first sending students in the summer of 2018. During this 17-day trip, pharmacy students work alongside an interprofessional team of Samford students and faculty to address issues of public health in areas of extreme poverty.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences

In the fourth year of Samford’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, students complete more than 1,600 hours of clinical experience through eight rotation blocks. Students can complete up to two blocks in an international location. “Through international APPEs, students truly become immersed in the environment and culture around them,” Crouch said. “Students spend five weeks working alongside a preceptor experiencing a diverse range of patients. They always come home with amazing stories, gaining perspective and insights to how health care varies from one country to the next.”

To further demonstrate its commitment to global engagement, McWhorter School of Pharmacy offers several student scholarships, working to elevate the financial burden of international travel.