Cross-Cultural Programs: Serving the Global Community Through Occupational Therapy.
At Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, you’ll have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience in health care with individuals in international locations.
For more than 10 years, 200+ students have traveled outside of the United States for clinical rotations.
Every year, the number of students and sites increase as students realize all the possibilities of designing their fieldwork and doctoral experiential component experiences.
We work diligently with each student to help them successfully establish a site and carry out their experiential learning.
Creighton University works with numerous university hospitals with inpatient and outpatient settings to provide students various learning experiences across China including Level I fieldwork and doctoral experiential learning.
China is in Eastern Asia bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam. It is very mountainous, has high plateaus, deserts, plains, deltas and hill. Additionally, China has a very diverse climate; from the very tropical in the south to the subarctic in the north. Over 1.3 billion people (1,379,302,771) call China their home with Mandarin being the official language. English is also widely used in China. It is also the largest county completely located in Asia and is the 4th largest country in the world.
Chile was created as a level ID fieldwork where students work with the University of Magallanes in Punta Arenes and visit inpatient and outpatient hospital clinics, as well as schools.
Chile is located in southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru. Chile has over 17.700 million (17,789,267) people living within its borders with Spanish being the official language. In comparison to the US, it is slightly smaller than twice the size of Montana. Its climate ranges from being desert-like in the north, Mediterranean centrally, and cool and damp in the south. It has low coastal mountains, a fertile central valley and rugged Andes in its east.
CHIP is a cross-cultural program that promotes international collaboration between health science schools at Creighton and medical universities and hospitals in China. As a U.S. student, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with health care professionals from a different culture and experience a new health care perspective.
Prior to traveling abroad, students enroll in an interprofessional two-credit hour China Immersion and Experiential Learning course that increases their cultural competency and leadership potential. Through a series of seminars, you’ll prepare for successful experiential learning during a one-week intensive in China.
Occupational Therapy Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) Program
Participate in a 3-week cross-cultural experience in the Dominican Republic that focuses on providing occupational therapy education and treatment. Utilizing the tenets of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), you’ll explore the Dominican culture while providing health-related education to multiple community partners. You’ll also work alongside students and practitioners to utilize promotoras or lay health providers and address the needs of children with disabilities in the barrios of Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The tropical Dominican Republic (DR) is one of the oldest fieldwork sites offered to Creighton students. It is the eastern 2/3rd of the Hispaniola Island in the Caribbean east of Haiti, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The DR has rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys in between. There are more than 10.7 million (10,734,247) people calling the DR their home and Spanish as their native language. OT students will mostly be working in outpatient pediatrics in the DR.
Contact Michelle Messer, OTD, OTR/L at MichelleMesser@creighton.edu if you have questions.
Creighton University works with Yonsei University in Wonju, South Korea to provide students with Level I fieldwork opportunities. Students visit inpatient acute and outpatient pediatric clinics. Students participate in sharing their current research with other international students and the Yonsei students and faculty. Students also spend time with the Yonsei OT students sightseeing, eating, and learning each other’s cultures.
South Korea is a peninsula in eastern Asia with its southern half bordering the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea. In comparison to the US, it is slightly smaller than Pennsylvania but slightly larger than Indiana. It is largely mountainous and hilly with wide coastal plains in the west and south. South Korea has a population of over 51.1 million (51,181,299) people and Korean is its official language, however more and more citizens are speaking English as it is being taught as early as primary school and English classes are becoming more popular over the years.
Maureen OTD’18 Level ID Chile
“I chose to go [to Chile] because I wanted to learn more about their culture and I heard that we would be collaborating with their university. My favorite part of the trip was being able to see how OT in Chile differs from in the states. They are run differently and the educational requirements are different.”
Gina OTD’18 DEC ILAC
“After working with children and their caregivers in the Dominican Republic, I have gained skills and practice techniques I will utilize going forward in my career.…in working with children over my IIB and at ILAC, I have truly been able to experience the importance of building relationships with the caregivers of my pediatric clients; developing these relationships naturally builds a stronger foundation for therapeutic carryover. Overall, I will bring into my future practice a greater simplicity in intervention and larger focus on relationships to foster therapeutic change.”
Khadijah OTD’19 Level ID DR
“I was enticed by the opportunity to see a new culture and be out of the country for the first time to do what I love! I was also intrigued by the idea of what occupational therapy looked like for people in a different part of the world. “
Kendra Schnack OTD’19 Level ID DR
“I was interested in learning about a different healthcare system and how the delivery of healthcare services is impacted by policy outside of the United States. I was also interest in learning more about common conditions and diagnoses seen in clinics outside of the United States. I wanted to learn how therapists from another region have been trained to treat these various conditions, and how it is both similar and different from individuals who receive training in the United States.”
Christine OTD’18 Level ID South Korea
“Personally, I wanted to go to South Korea because as a Korean-American, I thought it was important to learn more and understand a different aspect of my culture. I have been to Korea numerous times, but never with the eyes of an OT student. Thus, I wanted to return there with new set of eyes and see how different and/or similar the healthcare system was in South Korea compared to the US. As a future practitioner, I hope to one day go back to South Korean and contribute the knowledge and skills I have learned.”
Andrea Clark OTD’18 DEC India
“We learned so much about our profession, ourselves, the country of India and the perception of disability. Realistically in India, persons with disabilities are severely underserved. The programs we had an opportunity to work with are so important to change this perception and engage children in learning that are otherwise ignored. School systems in India have no services for children with a disability. These learning centers allow children to learn academic, life skills, social skills and vocational training. With these learning centers in place it is a hope the perception of children with a disability will be increasingly more positive.”
OTD’18 DEC London
“My favorite part about being at this placement is getting to experience a different world of occupational therapy. The occupational therapy program is very similar in terms of curriculum, but the way the curriculum is taught varies. The program has more emphasis on hands on application (practicals) versus exams and holds the ability to critically reflect in high regards. Provision of mental health services is very prominent here and includes occupational therapists as one of the crucial members of the health care team. Therefore, the curriculum of the program is heavily mental health based, which is at the roots of our profession, and something that I have not been exposed to much due to the reimbursement and health care system in America. Community health services is also very big here and the health care system tries to provide as many services to the patient at home in order for them to stay at home for as long as possible. There are so many beneficial things that I have learned here that I cannot possibly list them all. Overall, this experience has opened my eyes to the possibilities of enhancing the profession through international collaboration. Both countries could benefit from this collaboration as each has its own positives and negatives in terms of occupational therapy teaching and practice. Not only can this help to move the profession forward, but ultimately it will positively benefit patients and their care in both countries. I have been inspired and motivated to advocate for the profession more and keep learning different aspects of OT in other countries. The most interesting thing to me is, that despite the differences in teaching and practice, the core values and principles of occupational therapy remains the same. It is truly amazing to know that our profession and the work we do transcends cultures, languages, and borders.”