Why Health Science Students Should Study Abroad

November 15 , 2019

The health science field encompasses a vast array of majors from nutrition to psychiatry to pre-med. However, at the core, all of these specific majors can be considered to fall within the field of health and wellness. Students seeking a bachelor in health sciences or a bachelor in any other health science-related field could potentially pursue a career in public health, food science, or sports science amongst a variety of others.

Although traditionally health science students have not been afforded the opportunity to study abroad due to strict schedules, short-term and faculty-led study abroad programs have made going abroad more accessible. Health Sciences allows students to explore the evolving issues in healthcare and cross-cultural differences in the field. Studying abroad can add an incredible amount of value to a health science education and why we believe health science students should study abroad.

Global Perspective of Healthcare

While many American universities are at the top of the field in teaching healthcare practices, much can be learned by observing and learning from other countries’ systems and operations. A well rounded program abroad will develop new perspectives and techniques learned through onsite learning, guest speakers, and facility visits. While the US is ranked 35 on the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, many European countries round out the top five including Spain, Italy, Iceland, and Switzerland. Learning from these countries can improve the health field globally and help the next generation grow and connect on a larger scale.

Language Acquisition

Globalization is an important factor in our increasingly diverse climate. Learning a second language can help students with future career placement, abroad work, and connecting with more patients. Studying a language in a host country has been proven to increase proficiency over studying the same language domestically.

Making International Connections

A network is critical in successful outcomes for students. The contacts met abroad can become mentors, coworkers, or a small link to getting an interview or a recommendation for graduate school. Expanding a student’s network globally can have a lasting impact throughout life. It can also open up health science internship opportunities either during the study abroad program or later.

Time Management and Problem Solving Skills

For the majority of students, studying abroad is a huge transition from routine and comfort into a new landscape, culture, and school setting. Students must learn to adapt and become flexible in managing the change and thriving in a new environment. During a short term program, this is doubled with the fast-paced style and short amount of time to soak in all the information and opportunities abroad.

Biggest Obstacle: Solved

Since many course loads for health science can be rigorous and don’t allow time for a traditional semester abroad, instead, a shorter J-Term, Spring break, Maymester or summer program can be the perfect option to gain all the aforementioned skills and opportunities without missing out on any crucial work at the student’s home university.

To take a deeper look at a healthcare short-term study abroad program check out our multi-city case study. If you are interested in adding a short-term or faculty-led study abroad program at your university in the field of health sciences contact us at 4.0 Tours and we can help design and operate the ideal short-term program with any kind of specifications.

The Impact of Internships in Europe on Students’ Transferable Skills

A common question in the international education community is how can we evaluate and value the experience of study abroad or intern abroad experiences. How can we convey the positive impact this experience will have on a potential student? The European Internship Study 2019 seeks to compare the impact of studying abroad and interning abroad in Europe on the development of students’ transferable skills and their life and career trajectory.


Jenna Steeve