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Global Experiences

Hands-on cross cultural opportunities

Sommer Ireland is an Education Abroad Coordinator for Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) and will be serving in an embedded role to the College of AHS. She will hold office hours on Monday afternoons from 2:00-3:00pm and Thursday mornings 9-10am in 245 Huff Hall.
The overall purpose of the embedded role is to better support AHS with any specific needs and challenges related to study abroad at the college, department, and student levels. Sommer will serve as an accessible study abroad resource to the college and will be seeking to learn more about AHS and the ways in which she can work with the college to advance their goals for study abroad.
Sommer can be reached at, via phone at 217-333-2130, or will be available to consult in person during her office hours. You can schedule a brief appointment with her (approximately 15 minutes) by emailing or calling 217-333-2130. When emailing or calling, please request that you would like to schedule an appointment with Sommer or speak with her over the phone if she’s available. If Sommer has a time slot open during office hours, students and staff can also just drop-in.

A Wintermester in Austrailia

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences degree program at Illinois has made study abroad a more meaningful experience for its students by creating a two-week wintermester course in Australia that focuses on global health and diversity.

From Sydney to Adelaide, students learn about Australia’s urban and rural health systems, aging and disability support, and mental health services through the perspectives of the natural, biological, and social sciences. Students are introduced to distinctive features of Australia’s health care system, learning about the health concerns of indigenous cultures from an elder of the Aboriginal population, the world’s oldest surviving culture.

The Karolinska Institute

This is a student exchange program, between the department of SHS at Illinois and the Divisions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Karolinska Institute is one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious medical institutions with approximately 8,000 students. Undergraduate students in SHS will be able to apply to this exchange program through the Study Abroad Office and will be able to take coursework at K.I. in either the Speech-language Pathology or Audiology Divisions. Either division is open to students from any SHS concentration.

The China International Leisure Research Association

The mission of the China-International Leisure Research Association is to foster research on issues critical to leisure in China and to promote research collaborations among leisure scholars from China and abroad. The association seeks to initiate a dialog between Chinese and international scholars on critical leisure issues in China, Develop joint research projects on these issues, develop and foster professional exchanges, provide opportunities for student exchanges. For more information about participating in the China International Leisure Research Association contact your advisor and visit the association website.

SHS student studies abroad in Ecuador

Brittany Barajas, junior in SHS and Spanish, is spending the year studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador, thanks in part to her Stamps Scholarship. The exchange program at La Universidad San Francisco de Quito provides her with the opportunity to study alongside native Ecuadorian students. She explains, “I really was determined to find a program where I could interact daily with native students so that I could really immerse myself in the local culture, befriend natives, and challenge my Spanish.”

Brittany is also involved in an internship at a public hospital in Quito. Under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist, she provides individual and group speech-language pathology (SLP) treatment in Spanish to adults recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Additionally, Brittany is investigating various treatment models. She remarks, “I am working with my supervisor to research the efficacy of partner-based SLP practices and SLP that incorporates patients’ family members into the practices. Many quiteños (residents of Quito) are proud of their family-centered culture so the idea of incorporating family members into patients’ treatment seems very culturally-relevant.”

Kinesiology and Gap Medics

Gap Medics provides students with opportunities for Pre-Health internships abroad. Students will get hands-on patient care opportunities in countries around the world. Gap Medics locations include: East Africa, Croatia, Dominican Republic, and Poland Learn more by visiting the Gap Medics website.

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