The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy offers fourth-year PharmD students the opportunity to complete one or more of their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience rotations in a country outside of the United States.
The main goals of these elective rotations is for the student to learn about pharmacy practice and healthcare systems in the host country and compare them to those in the U.S. Each rotation lasts six weeks and the student pays all costs, which average $3,000 to $5,000 per student. Approximately 15 students choose to do an international rotation each year. At the end of each rotation, the student is expected to write a paper and give a presentation to the college about his/her experiences and what he/she learned.
Challenges of an international rotation for the student include:
- Financial, since students pay all expenses plus UA tuition and fees
- Scheduling: Balancing with other rotations; completing residency applications and interviews
- Language, although fluency in the local language is generally not required
- Culture: Food and customs may not be like those the student is used to
- Health and safety: Many countries do not have the quality of healthcare and safety systems that the U.S. enjoys
International rotations provide exposure to various practices, including inpatient and outpatient. Every rotation is different. Students learn social and cultural, as well as healthcare system, norms. An international rotation offers the student a potentially life-changing experience.
In order for a student to do an international rotation in a particular country, the college must have a formal affiliation agreement with the host institution there. The COP currently has agreements with and rotation sites in:
- Costa Rica (San Jose)
- Hong Kong
- Japan (Kobe, Nagoya)
- New Zealand (Dunedin)
- South Korea
- Spain (Barcelona)
- Taiwan (Taipei)
- Thailan (Bangkok, Hat Yai)
- UK (E. Lancashire, Reading)
The college will consider new sites on request.
For more information, contact Michael Katz, director of the college's international programs.
Photo caption: While she was a student, Ashlee Gerfen (seated, center) completed a rotation at Meijo University College of Pharmacy in Nagoya, Japan.