Hershey welcomes three international students for exchange program

HERSHEY, Pa. — If there is one thing that Wei Ting (Shaba) Chien has learned during his time in the United States, it’s that no country has a perfect public health system.

The senior medical student from Taiwan was one of three international students from Taiwan and the Republic of Georgia to spend two weeks training on and around the Penn State College of Medicine campus in July as part of the Penn State International Health Exchange Program.

“I wanted to see how the Western world is like us, and how the system is different here,” he said.

Students in Penn State’s Master of Public Health program can complete international internships and fieldwork as part of their global health practice-based learning, but this summer, for the first time, students from partner institutions abroad have come to Hershey.

“The Penn State International Health Exchange Program is a significant step for our global health program, which aims to bring students, faculty and health professionals together to examine public health issues affecting the world,” said Dr. Vernon M. Chinchilli, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences.

The Master of Public Health program is designed to prepare future public health leaders, improve population health, and reduce health disparities on local, national and international levels through education, research and service.

“The training was modeled after our Master of Public Health program, which emphasizes firsthand knowledge of public health practice,” said Julie Lentes, assistant director for health communication in the Department of Public Health Sciences. “We wanted our international students to have the opportunity to learn from key public health leaders in the region and how they interact.”

Students in the program met with legislative staff on Capitol Hill and visited the Baltimore City Health Department to hear from senior staff entrenched in that city’s major health issues. They attended presentations by Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy and Physician General Rachel Levine. They also heard from College of Medicine faculty and visited the Lion Reach mobile education center for medical professionals.

Learn more about the program in this Penn State Medicine article.

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Last Updated August 19, 2016