Department of Allied Health Sciences: International Programs
The UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS) prepares students to be global citizens who are equipped for practice in a wide variety of cultural contexts. In keeping with UNC-Chapel Hill’s mission to enhance the quality of North Carolinians and beyond, DAHS’ international learning experiences are designed to enhance cultural diversity and best practices at home and abroad. Continue scrolling to learn more about our international experience from each division of the DAHS:
- Division of Radiologic Science
- Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
- Division of Physical Therapy
- Additional information
The benefits of international experiences for students are many and well reported. Students grow in the ability to see diversity and complexity in life situations of clients, colleagues and patients. Adaptation to work in a new culture, economic, geographic and political contexts can teach flexibility, creativity and self-awareness.
2017 International Travel Facts
- Departments had visitors from: Turkey, Australia, Spain, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Japan, Sweden, Cypress, Malawi, Switzerland, and Colombia
- Department faculty traveled to over 20 countries in the last two years for DAHS
- Faculty assisted in hospitals, clinics, schools, in-home, and long-term care facilities.
Division of International Activities
Division of Radiologic Science
The mission of the Division of Radiologic Science regarding international travel is to increase radiology’s contribution to sustainable global health initiatives and to develop long-term educational relationships with international partner organizations. The Division of Radiologic Science has partnerships in Malawi, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Division students are involved at each site with the goal of learning how radiology is different in other parts of the world and the intent of applying positive aspects to their own practice. Division faculty have contributed to curriculum and national policy development through these collaborations; additionally, the relationships allow the Division of Radiologic Science faculty, staff, and students to increase understanding and expertise regarding radiology in an international environment.
For information, contact: Melissa Culp, M.Ed., RT(R)(MR)
Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
The International Community Learning for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ICLASP) provides students with the opportunity to practice and refine language skills for working with culturally and linguistically diverse individuals with communication disorders. Students deepen their understanding of the culture and current conditions of the community in which they serve and practice skills needed for working collaboratively in a cross-cultural regional and global context. Lisa Domby, clinical associate professor, accompanies students to Guatemala each year between summer and fall semesters.
Watch a slideshow about a recent trip.
For information, contact: Lisa Domby, MS, CCC-SLP
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Faculty in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy have maintained global connections in a variety of ways, including visiting universities in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific for collaborations in research and teaching. Facultyare frequently invited to collaborate, consult, and present in countries around the world. Notably, a division faculty member has served as USA Delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) (2010-2015), and as WFOT Programme Coordinator for Research (2014- 2018).
Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Science make international connections through collaborations withfaculty of universities outside the United States and through participation in international congresses. This work is arranged on an individual basis to extend learning relative to the course of study and to dissertation focus.
Students in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy participate in international activities as opportunities arise. A limited number of students have part or all of their Fieldwork II in other countries. These are student-funded experiences vary year to year and are arranged by an academic fieldwork coordinator. Countries in which students have had fieldwork include Malawi, Honduras, Guatemala, and Thailand. Services projects in other countries are undertaken and develop where principles of locally guided and sustainable partnerships are possible.
For information, contact: Susan Coppola, MS, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA
Division of Physical Therapy
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides service learning opportunities in underserved communities in North Carolina and abroad in Guatemala. These experiences are intended to provide both meaningful student learning opportunities as well as sustainable and meaningful service to communities in need. Throughout these experiences, students learn about various health conditions as well as various cultural factors that may influence health. The program also examines the impact of these experiences on the professional development of students and on the health of the communities served.
For information, contact: Lisa Johnston, PT, MS, DPT
- It is the responsibility of every DAHS student and faculty member engaged in these efforts to promote sustainable projects, mutually beneficial partnerships, empowerment of local persons, and respect for the local beliefs and wishes.
- If you are planning to travel internationally, you must register with the UNC Global Travel Registry. This is a university-wide system and is MANDATORY for all UNC-CH students.
- Please note that UNC Global maintains travel advisories (https://global.unc.edu/travel-info/) which encompasses U.S. State Department warnings as well as CDC travel advisories. This determines to which countries students can officially travel. There is currently a list of countries to which students cannot travel, and others countries that require special waivers. If you are considering travel to a Level II or Level III country, please contact your program director.
- Programmatic structures for international experiences are available through linkages between international coordinating representatives in each allied health division, the Office of International Activities in the School of Medicine, and UNC Global.
- Please find the pre-trip departure checklist here.