International Experiences


The College of Allied Health prides itself on being a college of helping professions. Helping in the local community just wasn't enough, our service goes global. Students, faculty, staff and even friends of the college participate in six different international experiences throughout the year-- and we keep adding more!

Palace Foundation - Mexico

An interprofessional team of students, faculty, and staff from the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) along with community members and volunteer translators travel annually to Cancun, Mexico, for a service-learning experience in conjunction with the Palace Foundation.

This service-learning experience allows students to gain hands-on experience in their fields while making a difference in the lives of the people of Mexico. The team helps hundreds of individuals from the local community in locations such as the Center for Exceptional Children, local hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes. The Palace Foundation provides room, board, and lodging  broad and transportation for the team.

The scope of the service-learning experience has evolved over the last 10 years and today includes physical therapy, audiology and medical laboratory sciences. Current faculty leaders are Brian Earl, Elizabeth Hertenstein and Rose Smith with Beth Bextermueller as the liaison with the Palace Foundation.

The people of Mexico are so grateful. It really keeps you going when you haven't had a moment's rest or have barely ate lunch. It is all worth it when you hear ‘Mucho gusto. Muchas gracias!’ I want to emulate the appreciation I have been shown, especially when it is me who is so grateful for the opportunity to serve these people! So powerful!

CAHS Student

If you have questions about the Mexico international service learning experience, please contact Brian Earl,

Viva Nicaragua Abroad in Costa Rica

Faculty partner with Viva Nicaragua Abroad, an NGO partner to bring students in the College of Allied Health Sciences' to Costa Rica each year.  Students complete the experience as part of a course where they experience first-hand concepts like cross cultural empathy, the impact of service learning, unique cultural healthcare challenges and an understanding of poverty. 

During the visit, the student's practice building trusting relationships with clients/patients so that they receive adequate information during an assessment.  The better and more detailed assessment info they get, the better, more specific person-centered plans they are able to create for that client/patient.  The more patient-centered and specific plan we make, the better the outcome.

I was able to learn a lot about the culture as well as see how the political persecution in Nicaragua has changed many fleeing Nicaraguans' lives. It was really fun to work with students from all across our college and use our different approaches and skills to overcome problems together.

Sam Kroeger Speech Language Hearing Science student

Xan Boone, associate professor in the school of social work, leads study abroad experiences to Costa Rica each year. Contact Xan Boone for more details. 

Copenhagen, Denmark study abroad experience 

Advanced Medical Imaging Technology (AMIT) professional curriculum majors set off to Copenhagen, Denmark where students will be immersed in Danish culture while also engaging in a curriculum that includes both didactic and clinical components set up at the Glostrup University Hospital Functional Imaging Unit.

This experience will enhance participating students' patient care and communication skills, and allow them to grow both on a personal and professional level, by immersing them into a new culture, society, and government-run healthcare system.

The most rewarding part about studying abroad was being able to be a part of a completely different culture. Seeing how another group of people can behave so much different than us yet learning so much from them was amazing. Being a part of the summer solstice festival over in Denmark was so much fun. I felt like I was a part of a big celebration which made me feel welcome and was so exciting.

Kelsey Wineland, 2015 AMIT graduate

The Denmark study abroad experience is led by Barry Southers, PhD. Please contact him with any questions about this experience at: southegb@UCMAIL.UC.EDU

South Africa

Undergraduates in Communication Sciences and Disorders spent their spring break testing the hearing of elephants in Bela-Bela, South Africa. This was the second trip that Pete Scheifele, PhD, professor, and executive director of FETCHLAB, has made to Bela-Bela, South Africa as part of a project that is the first to ever test the hearing of African elephants. 

The group did its research at Adventures With Elephants (AWE), a conservation reserve about 45 minutes west of Bela-Bela, which offers a variety of hands-on elephant experiences targeted to tourists.

The research project in Bela-Bela is part of a conservation effort to keep poachers from killing elephants and bringing ivory into other countries illegally, funded in part by the U.S. Army. 

To be able to have such close up access to the elephants was an incredible experience and to be able to expand our current research efforts at an amazing facility like AWE was beyond rewarding. I hope that our research efforts will contribute to a better understanding of elephant hearing so that we can help protect the elephants from poaching and help conserve them.

Jenny Gale, CAHS graduate

Additional Opportunities

The University of Cincinnati has a variety of International Experience and Study Abroad options for students.