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Global Engagement Program

Ohio State’s Global Engagement Program organizes, enhances and promotes global engagement within the College of Veterinary Medicine by providing immersive experiences for students that take place anywhere from internationally to in the local community. These opportunities provide unique learning experiences for CVM students based on their individual interests. We have three general models for our programs: Research Experience, Course Work, and Service Learning. 

Read the latest updates in the Global Engagement Program Annual Report. 

Each year, the program also offers Global Engagement Travel Scholarships to support student travel (international or domestic) for immersive activities that expand the student’s cultural and technical competencies related global one health (research, education, service, outreach, capacity building, etc.) that supports their future career goals. The number of travel scholarships and their amount vary depending on the applicant pool and funding available for that particular year. Learn more about applying for a 2020 scholarship.

Global Engagement Research Experiences 

Example: Global One Health Initiative

The Global One Health Initiative (GOHi) work in Ethiopia gives students hands-on experience in field research and promotes cross-cultural communication and collaborations. For example, in 2014, a veterinary student designed a method to count dogs in the city of Gondar.  A group of veterinary students implemented the project and came up with an estimate of the total dog population to be used by the rabies control program in Gondar.  

“My work in Ethiopia with GOHi gave me the chance to learn how to collaborate with multiple partners to conduct impactful and lasting global work. The chance to work on various steps of designing studies, trainings, and large overseas campaigns enabled me to gain confidence as a scientist. I credit this work while I was a student as creating a solid foundation for the work I do today as a veterinary epidemiologist.” - Past GOHi Student Researcher now working with CDC

GOHi partnerships with universities in Ethiopia allows Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine students to work in a highly interdisciplinary One Health perspective. Students work with faculty from multiple disciplines to develop a broader understanding of their research, training or project, and to build their capacity to function beyond siloed solutions. There are several research opportunities and capacity building projects for students to get involved with, such as the Campylobacter Genomics and Enteric Dysfunction project, Drug Discovery and Therapeutics, and the USAID Tuberculosis Prevention Trial. Students can also do research aligned with capacity building initiatives including the One Health Summer Institute, Curriculum Twinning and CDC funded Global Health Security projects.

Course Work

Example: International Studies in Thailand 

The Veterinary Field Experience in Thailand, “Elephants, Zoo and Aquatic Medicine”, was started in 2005 by Nongnuch Inpanbutr, DVM, PhD., Professor Department of Veterinary Biosciences. An average of 24 students per year participate in this two-week program in Thailand that immerses students in coursework involving elephants, aquatic animals, wildlife and acupuncture. During their time in Thailand, students are exposed to how the religion, culture and social setting influence the practice of veterinary medicine. 

“The program in Thailand helped me grow in terms of my confidence and independence. Traveling internationally and visiting a country where English is not the primary language challenged me to be responsible for myself and be aware of my surroundings. The veterinary work provided me with much needed hands-on experiences that helped boost my confidence for my final year of vet school.” –Past participant of The Veterinary Field Experience in Thailand 

Inpanbutr, who earned her veterinary degree from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, worked with a colleague who is now the veterinary dean at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand to develop the study abroad program for Ohio State veterinary students. She is a strong advocate for expanding the cultural horizon for students. This program allows students to experience a different way of practicing veterinary medicine outside of Western standards, broadening their scope of knowledge and changing the way they approach treatment options for their future patients and clients.

Service Learning

Example: Faithful Forgotten Best Friend + LifeCare Alliance:

International travel isn’t required for immersive experiences that can broaden a student’s horizon. There are several local programs that provide students with an opportunity to gain new perspective on providing care, namely for underserved and vulnerable populations. The College has partnered with non-profit organizations LifeCare Alliance and Faithful Forgotten Best Friends (FFBF) to provide wellness and basic animal care for elderly or homebound residents in Franklin County. 

Working with these community partners, Ohio State’s Veterinary Outreach Program, provides a unique service-learning opportunity for veterinary students by enabling them to provide veterinary care to underserved animals in the community that belong to clients that are elderly, low-income, homeless, house-bound, or chronically ill. The students provide care in a variety of settings including client homes, local churches, or buildings belonging to these partner community agencies. Students have the ability to work directly in the local community and to engage with clients of varying backgrounds and socio-economic tiers, affording them a rich opportunity to communicate with, and serve individuals who are unable to seek care for their pets at a typical veterinary clinic.

“Outreach medicine provided me a new way to think about how to provide care for animals because of the limited amount of resources and funding. It was fun to think outside of the box and improvise when we didn’t have something, which I think is a great tool for anyone who is going to practice medicine. Because of this outreach experience, I plan on giving back to my community when I move back to Pennsylvania and starting something very similar to what FFBF does. After this experience, I can’t imagine just practicing veterinary medicine without having a way to give back to my community and help animals who are seen but can’t be heard.”- Fourth-year veterinary student, participant in the Faithful Forgotten Best Friend (FFBF) Outreach Program

Community practice and a shelter rotation are an integral part of the fourth-year curriculum for students who are required to participate in these programs by going out into the community four days a week, year-round. Twice a year, first- through third-year students can join the OSU-CVM Day of Service to provide wellness care to underserved animals in the local community. They also have the opportunity to work with FFBF and Central Community House to offer vaccines once a month for qualifying low-income clients in the Old-Town East area of Columbus.