Take your knowledge abroad with an International Pharmacy major

13 March 2018

William Clayton graduated from a Bachelor of Pharmacy with a major in International Pharmacy in 2017.

As part of his major, William had the opportunity to travel overseas to discover what it's like to study Pharmacy in the USA. We sat down with him to chat about his experience, and see what's in store for him next.

Where did you go for your international placement, and how did you choose the university?

My nominated host university was Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts (United States). My brother lives in California which pushed me towards the US and once the offer came through I accepted without a second thought. I had researched the course there (which was actually a Doctor of Pharmacy) as well as the campus and the city itself and it had stood out as an option for me from the beginning. The chance to explore how our profession translates across the globe was too good to pass up!

What did you learn about pharmacy in the USA?

I learned a great deal about the US healthcare system as well as the role of pharmacists internationally. The school was fantastic in welcoming me and catching me up to speed not only with my courses, but also their thoughts on pharmacy and where they believe the profession is moving both in the US and abroad.

What did you do outside of your classes?

I was in and around campus for most of the working week, but used my weekends to try and travel around the area, getting to know the city of Boston and the surrounding area. As winter loomed, I snuck in a few ski trips to Vermont, Utah and Tahoe. The University office was fantastic as well, running regular programs for exchange students including watching the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Thanksgiving dinner and tours around the historical city of Boston. I managed to get to around one sporting event a week between the NFL, ice hockey, baseball and basketball!

Were there things you missed from back home in Australia?

There were definitely some differences, but the cultural change wasn't as great as I was expecting. The Australian weather became the biggest thing I missed towards the end of my stay. As winter rolled around, temperatures frequently dropped to negative double digits, and snow was a regular occurrence. Outside of this, familiar faces of family and friends were missed, however I exchanged regular calls and messages with them so I was able to keep up to date with any news from back home!

How has this experience changed your outlook on your pharmacy career?

It has opened my eyes to the importance of the pharmaceutical profession and the value of pharmacists in the healthcare community around the world. It also highlighted the range of opportunities available in the community, hospitals and internationally with charities and organisations such as the World Health Organisation.

Looking forward, where are you working for your internship and which Intern Training Program are you doing?

I've returned to work at Fresh Therapeutics compounding pharmacy in Broadway/Bondi Junction where I worked as a student. I have just enrolled in the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education (NAPE) ITP Program, and am looking forward to continuing my education with the University and the Faculty of Pharmacy in 2018!

Learn more about the Bachelor of Pharmacy by attending our course information webinar on June 7, 2018 at 4pm AEST. Register now to secure your place.