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EXSC class compares health professions in the U.S. and Ireland with study abroad program

May 20, 2016 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Exercise Science (EXSC) Undergraduate Director Barbara Cuevas and EXSC Academic Advisor Morgan Porter are leading students through an array of career options within the United States and Ireland. A component of with the USC Study Abroad Office, this course is designed to give students experience in a variety of health care settings with a different cultural lens.

“The goal of this course is to expand the minds of the enrolled students to think about the careers they have chosen in a different light, making them more prepared to handle the cultural challenges they will face as health professionals,” says Cuevas. “This experience will also help them learn how to develop creative solutions to the issues they will encounter working in the health care industry as well as make them more aware of the options they have after graduating with a degree in a health-related field.”

The students will document and evaluate the various career options they learn about, comparing the differences between similar professions in the U.S. and Ireland. In doing so, they will develop cultural competencies and international awareness as well as attain numerous other skills and learning outcomes. Each student will keep a daily journal to record her/his observations and insights, and they will all contribute to a class blog chronicling the trip: Irish You Were Here. At the culmination of the class, the participants will each present a health career plan based on what they’ve learned during the course.

So far, the students have shadowed health professionals all around the Columbia area, including dentists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and cardiac rehabilitation professionals. The class departs for Ireland on May 22. Follow their journey through their blog.