International Student Exchange 

The Student Exchange Program (SEP) is one of the main activities IPSF is involved in. The program provides an opportunity for students all over the world to learn about pharmacy practice in different countries. it aims to bring interantional students into the U.S. and to send U.S. students abroad. Though the program runs throughout the year, most exchanges take place between May and September and usually last one to three months. Possible host sites include community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, pharmaceutical industries, pharmacy schools, and so forth in various countries.

In order to participate in SEP, a student must be a member of IPSF and must submit an application on the IPSF website. However, it is important to check with the student exchange officers first to ensure the process goes smoothly. 

Hosting foreign students here is very important because the U.S. is highly regarded in terms of pharmaceutical education. Moreover, the number of students the U.S. can send abroad is correlated to the number of students that we accept through the general application. Thus in hosting more foreign students, we may also increase the chances of sending our students abroad.

Our chapter hosts several foreign students throughout the entire year. During their stay here, the foreign students experience first-hand how pharmacy students are educated and how pharmacists practice in the U.S. We also strive to share our cultural diversity with our guests by taking them out to various places and events around Tucson. We welcomed all students to join us in hosting these guests! 

For more infomation please contact the student exchange officer (see IPSF Officers).

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This is a new activity IPSF is offering. In the summer of 2014, 14 of our pharmacy students traveled to Japan on an educational trip headed by our faculty advisor, Dr. Michael Katz. The students gained valuable knowlege in pharmacy education and practice in the Japanese culture. They were also able to further enrich their experiences by enjoying different aspects of the Japanese culture, such as tasting different Japanese dishes, visiting traditional temples, and so forth. 

The trip was such a success that in the summero f 2014, another eight pharmacy students traveled abroad with Dr. Michael Katz, Thailand being their destination this time. They too, had a fun and educational experience there. Feel free to check out their blog to get a better idea of what their trip was like. IPSF is planning to offer more summer trips in the upcoming years. If you are interested, be sure to look out for IPSF updates sent out in our weekly email. 

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The IPSF Annual International Dinner is our biggest fundraising event of the year. In order to raise funds to help our pharmacy students travel abroad, IPSF hosts a dinner event every year around April. The dinner presents different dishes from restaurants around Tucson to satisfy our attendees' taste buds. We also host a Top Chef Competition during the dinner: participating students would make their own appetizers or desserts for the attendees to judge. Of course, this means more delicious food for everyone! The dinner also seeks to entertain by featuring cultural performances from local Tucson groups or organizations.

It takes months of preparation in advance to make our dinner a success. The money raised not only helps our members travel to World Congress to network with pharmacy students from other countries, but also helps cover some of the expenses students have from their international summer trips. If you would like to learn more about our dinner, please contact the International Dinner Coordinators (see IPSF Officers). 

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Tobacco Awareness

Smoking cessation is extremely important in both the U.S. and worldwide. Our program focuses on local schools with students around the 4th to 7th grade level. The program shows the detrimental aspects of smoking as well as the benefits of not smoking. Most of the information for these presentations was found at

For questions about how to get involved, contact the smoking cessation officer (see IPSF Officers).

Community-Based Projects; listing available from

  • ATIN at 1-800-432-2772
  • ASH at 1-800-556-6222

Training in Tobacco Cessation for Health Professionals: (520) 318-7253

Arizona Smokers' Helpline (ASH)

Clinical Practice Guidline available

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HIV/AIDS Awareness

Our program at the UA is a part of IPSF's global effort to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS. With over 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and even more around the world, understanding the disease and learning how to address patients' needs is becoming increasingly important. We host our key event, HIV/AIDS Awareness Month, during the month of November. This is a month-long seminar and event series aimed at educating students in the health professions about the many issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. For more information, please contact our AIDS Awareness Week coordinators (see IPSF Officers).

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Diabetes awareness

Diabetes is a growing concern not only in the U.S., but all over the world. The World Health Organization estimates about 9% of adults over 18 have diabetes in 2014, and predicts diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. As an effort to educate the community on the diagnosis and management of diabetes, our IPSF chapter began developing health fairs focused on the chronic condition in early 2015. We will contine to improve and expand the program. To request more information or to ask a question, please contact our clinical coordinators (See IPSF Officers)

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International Meetings

PARS: PARS, or Pan-American Regional Symposium, is a meeting within the American region of countries. This includes all North, Central and South American countries, although all countries need to formally become members before being recognized as voting/active members. These meetings were started in 2002 as an effort to help communication within the Americas, with the U.S. being the first host site, then Mexico, and in 2004, Panama.

International Scientific Symposium: This is a worldwide meeting used to exchange scientific ideas through abstracts or poster presentations.

World Congress: This is a worldwide meeting held in a similar manner to PARS, but with a longer stay, maybe a tour of the country afterwards, and English translators for any non-English speakers.

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Other Meetings

As a part of the APhA-ASP organization, IPSF is recognized at the APhA annual meeting. There is an information booth regarding IPSF and the IPSF Chapter of the Year (an award that the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is known for) is awarded during the awards ceremony.

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Originally posted: August 27, 2013
Last updated: October 19, 2015
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