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International Experiences

Expand your health care education and broaden your global view by participating in international experiences offered by KU School of Health Professions.

Collage of international student experiences, including two students pictured in front of a mountain in Guatemala

The Impact of COVID on Our Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our world, raising awareness of the critical importance of global health while simultaneously making it impossible for us to safely offer international travel experiences at this time.

KU School of Health Professions suspended all student international educational experiences in 2020, and any future decisions about global travel opportunities will prioritize our commitment to the safety and health of our students and the people in the countries to be visited. Visit the Office of International Programs for additional information, or contact the office for specific questions about the resumption of international activities.

Though international travel is on hold, we are focused on developing local learning opportunities for students to work with underserved communities in the region, including refugee populations, Native American populations, and underserved communities in urban and rural parts of Kansas and the Midwest/Great Plains region. We are also partnering with the Office of International Programs and KU faculty to encourage students to engage in virtual global health learning and training opportunities.

Why International Experiences Matter

When you participate in an international education experience, you gain hands-on clinical training while providing a service to communities that need your help.

You can practice what you've learned in the classroom as you discover new cultures and customs. Some programs even place you side-by-side with the School of Health Professions faculty, assisting in research or practicing patient care.

Build lasting connections with people and cultures around the world while expanding your perspective in ways that will benefit you and those you will serve throughout your career.

Examples of Our Programs

Ghana International Educational Experience
A group of faculty and students from KU Medical Center travel to the West African country to provide clinical care and health education, working with rural health care providers. This includes shadowing providers in a variety of settings, from large hospitals to small clinics.

Robinson International Studies Award
This award was established to assist students who want to complete an international education experience at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. Students from the School of Health Professions are eligible to apply for an award to complete an elective rotation.

Global Scholars Distinction Program
This program recognizes students engaging in educational experiences that involve working with a variety of cultures and/or with underserved communities at local, national and global levels. This certificate program combines classroom and experiential learning.

Explore other international experience opportunities available through the KU Medical Center Office of International Programs.

Funding Opportunities

Diversity and International Experiences Fund Award
Open to students in the School of Health Professions from minority groups who are first-generation university students and for students in the school who are offered an international academic trip but have insufficient funds for out-of-pocket expenses.

Lou Loescher-Junge International Travel Award
Awarded to students in the physical therapy program for an international educational experience in the country of the student's choice.

Office of International Programs Award
Open to any current student in the school. The amount awarded varies. Contact the Office of International Programs for details.

Kovac International Observership Award
Available to students in the nurse anesthesia education and respiratory care education degree programs to participate in an international experience in Peru or Ghana.

For more information about funding for faculty and student travel experiences, visit the Office of International Programs.

Follow the Travels Past and Present

two students sitting with a mountain in the background in GuatemalaTrip to Africa for KU Physical Therapy Student
Kevin Williams spent six weeks in the rural town of Manguzi, South Africa. While there Dec. 30 to Feb. 16, he worked at the local hospital to provide physical therapy services to its patients. He used the entries from his trip notebook to create a blog to share his experiences. Read his blog.

KU Faculty Member Visits Kyrgyz Republic
Lisa Mische Lawson, Ph.D., CTRS was in the Central Asia country this fall participating in the Fulbright Specialist Program. Her project is titled "Promotion of Research at Ala-Too International University." Read her blog.

Summer 2018 Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala
A team from KU completed a Medical Missions Foundation trip to Antigua, Guatemala, in June 2018. Nurse anesthesia students joined faculty and program alumni in providing anesthesia care during 75 surgeries at Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro Hospital. In addition, audiology students saw 179 patients for hearing tests/hearing aid repairs and fit 148 new hearing aids. Photos

Above: KU nurse anesthesia student Taylor Robertson talks about her summer 2018 medical mission trip to Guatemala.

KU Respiratory Care Helps in Ghana
Every year, faculty member Karen Schell, DHSc, RRT-NPS of the Department of Respiratory Care and Diagnostic Science, takes much-needed supplies to Ghana. She also works to support respiratory care education in the West African nation. Read her blog

KU School of Health Professions

KU School of Health Professions
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Mailstop 2007
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5235 • 711 TTY