Biomedical students are masters of what is necessary to sustain life; studying biomedical sciences abroad can teach students not only how to sustain life, but how to enrich lives (including their own). In the major that produces the world’s future doctors, veterinarians, research scientists, and many other vitally important health professionals, students with mindfulness and perspective are incredibly valuable. Students who study biomedical sciences abroad will be introduced to new people with varied life experiences and learn to connect with others, care for them, and meet their varied needs.
Why Study Biomedical Sciences Abroad
Students that study biomedical sciences abroad gain a distinct view of how daily life operates in a different part of the world. If you’re planning on pursuing a profession where personal interactions are important, such those in the healthcare industry, travel can increase your compassion for those from all walks of life, cultures, and backgrounds. Most importantly, studying biomedical sciences abroad will likely expose you to populations that lack access to necessary healthcare, providing you with inspiration to continue to pursue your degree and help combat this major issue in the future.
As time goes on, the biomedical sciences are rapidly globalizing. Medical discoveries, treatments, and other medical knowledge is being shared with the entire world daily, as nations across the world make improvements to better the lives and well-being of citizens. Studying biomedical sciences abroad will help you understand the missing pieces of the healthcare industry on a global scale, introduce you to new technologies and treatments, and make you a more well-rounded future health care professional.
Last but not least, in a competitive field like biomedical sciences, having study abroad experience on your resume can make you more appealing to future employers, hospitals, and organizations that value a global perspective and real world experience.
Most universities around the world have some sort of biomedical science study abroad program, so you most likely won’t have to compromise your ideal location because of the courses that you want to take or need to complete to fulfill your degree requirements.
Europe offers budding biomedical scientists prime experience when it comes to biomedical studies abroad. A common choice for biomedical science study abroad programs, England offers a chance to study abroad in English while discovering a whole new landscape of literature, culture, politics, and medicine. Studying abroad in London specifically won’t just be filled with Shakespeare classes, as the U.K. is the birthplace of the original Grey’s Anatomy and a fiercely competitive academic environment. A hop across the channel, France is another appealing option for students who want to study biomedical sciences abroad, especially for those with an interest in the French language, the famous French cuisine, or a culture that birthed the stethoscope and the first treatments of diseases, like syphilis, that once plagued Europe.
For those looking to expand their comfort zone, Asia is at the forefront of medical development, including research into pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical technologies. South Korea offers a change of pace in comparison to the typical biomedical science study abroad program. Traditionally, two years of accelerated premedical study is followed by medical school in South Korea. Therefore, international students are drawn to the idea of highly ranked pre-med courses that encompass more information than similar courses at home may include. Additionally, China and Japan have similarly structured educational models and are also great locations to study biomedical science abroad.
Service-learning is becoming a more and more popular idea among biomedical students. Biomedical study abroad programs in parts of Africa, including South Africa and Ghana, as well as in Latin American countries like Peru or Belize, offer the typical undergraduate courses paired with volunteer components that give students the chance to help educate locals on sanitation and preventative medicine, among other things.
Biomedical Studies Abroad
Once you have decided on the big picture of what your biomedical studies abroad will look like, including the location and the timing of your program, you can begin to decide what you want to spend your time doing once abroad, which most importantly entails selecting your coursework.
If you are studying biomedical sciences abroad as an upperclassmen, your choices may be restricted to courses that will count toward your degree, without adding additional time to your projected graduation date. An academic advisor can help you plan accordingly in this regard, and planning as early as possible is recommended!
If, however, you have general education classes left to take, such as biology, chemistry, or even organic chemistry, most academic institutions abroad can provide you with a spot in these foundational science classes.
One of the best parts of studying abroad is the opportunity to take classes that you otherwise would not be offered. In some cases, this can mean locally-focused classes, like The History of Sanitation in Western Europe or Social Responses to Prophylactic Education in South Africa. You may also have the chance to take elective courses that do not relate specifically to biomedical sciences, but are regionally specific to the country you have chosen to study abroad in, such as introduction to languages, cultural practices, or religions, and even food or wine tasting.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Personal Perspective. From the second you step off the plane to the days preparing to return home, your biomedical sciences study abroad program is first and foremost a personal growth experience. Learning how to better communicate, being exposed to different daily schedules and ways of life, and experiencing education in a different country will all help you to see who you are, and increase your ability to be an effective biomedical professional.
Postgraduate Preparedness. Biomedical science study abroad experience can be hugely valuable on paper, as well as in person. Medical, veterinary, and dental schools are all highly competitive, and seeing that you took time to travel abroad and learn in a new environment can be a huge bonus on your application or resume. It has even been suggested by higher education officials that an international perspective on test-taking can help students when it comes time to take entrance exams to post-graduate schools, such as the MCAT or the GRE!