Undergraduate students from eight Chinese universities arrived July 14 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy for the Innovations and Transformations in Pharmaceutical Sciences (ITPS) program.
During the four-week experience, the visiting students live on Carolina’s campus and learn more about pharmacy school in the United States, as well as various career options in the pharmaceutical field. The schedule includes faculty lectures from all five of the School’s divisions, with topics from drug discovery to mental health pharmacotherapy. By the end of the program, students will have completed a short-term research project. Michael Jarstfer, one of the ITPS coordinators, said the curriculum is meant to be engaging and focus on active learning, not mastery. Sarah Dascanio is also a coordinator.
Participants will also tour both UNC-Chapel Hill research labs and off-campus facilities, such as the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and Medicago in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
ITPS students also shared their career interests at the opening meeting, which ranged from clinical practice to research and entrepreneurship. Over 70 percent of the visiting students said they were hoping to earn an advanced degree in the United States, and about half said they intended to work in research.
When asked why they decided to come to North Carolina, several participants said they wanted a greater understanding of their career options while learning about American education and teaching styles.
Lei Wang, one of the incoming ITPS students, said she was hoping to gain more experience in hospital pharmacy while at Carolina, which she hasn’t had the opportunity to do before.
“This is an excellent school, and it’s ranked number one in the country,” she said. “I want to learn more and explore more of the