Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) is forming a partnership with both the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia and the University of Canterbury – New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Dean of the School of Health and Medical Sciences, Brian Shulman, said in a telephone interview that the SHMS has “embarked on an international strategy” to provide students with the opportunity to study abroad. SHMS is already collaborating with many foreign universities, including schools in the Philippines, Brazil, Denmark, and Ireland.
This international strategy is an ongoing process. In the fall of 2017, Shulman traveled to the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to sign a memorandum of understanding. This was the first official step in creating a partnership between the two universities.
On Shulman’s visit to ACU, he wanted “to be sure that wherever our students are going … that where they go is a safe, caring environment.” According to Shulman, ACU’s shared religious values and their academics met Seton Hall’s requirements.
The agreement with the University of Canterbury – New Zealand (UCNZ) took place after the ACU memorandum signing, in late November and early December of 2017. Shulman said that he values SHMS partnerships with foreign universities because they are a way for Seton Hall students to gain “perspective on healthcare overseas.”
“As a Physician Assistant student, I’ve spent the last three years at SHMS practicing medicine and developing my career path towards becoming an integral part of the inter-professional medical team,” graduate student in physician assistant Martha Stanko said.
As a student studying abroad, Stanko feels that by “immersing myself in their culture and community I learned the importance of global health and giving back to those less fortunate.”
Students in the SHMS will soon be able to participate in study abroad programs with ACU and UCNZ. According to Shulman, about 21 international agreements have been signed already.
However, the partnerships with ACU and UCNZ are not only beneficial for SHMS students. Dean Shulman said that faculty will also get an opportunity to collaborate on curriculum and research and travel overseas in a faculty exchange program. He added, “There may also be opportunities for our Masters and Ph.D students.”
Briana Miller, a Seton Hall graduate student and physician assistant, believes in the importance of international partnerships. She said, “Being a SHMS student allowed me to cross the world and immerse myself into the medicine and culture of the other side of the world. This was an experience no textbook can prepare you for and no person can predict its value. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience that SHMS enabled me to have.”
Marie Leone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.