Bridging Borders: A Pharmacy Student’s International Experience

School of Pharmacy student, Selena Zhuo, attended the 68th Annual International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) World Congress Conference to collaborate on global health issues.

Selena Zhuo, second from the left at the World Congress Conference

This past summer, P4 student Selena Zhuo travelled to Bali, Indonesia to represent UConn and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) national chapter (APhA-ASP). Her role as the APhA-ASP National Project Coordinator and an IPSF U.S.A. International Standing Committee member gave her the opportunity to spend a week connecting with students from 31 countries to identify major public health issues and explore common challenges.

IPSF is a leading international advocacy organization for pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students and recent graduates, representing approximately 500,000 pharmacy students and graduates in 92 countries worldwide. IPSF promotes improved public health through the provision of information, education, networking and a range of publications and professional initiatives. Some of their initiatives include public health campaigns, research on issues in pharmacy education and workforce development, a student exchange program, and international and regional events.

At the conference, Selena was able to connect with student representatives and healthcare professionals from around the world.  She had the opportunity to vote on policies and motions at IPSF’s general assembly, she participated in healthcare workshops to gain insights into global healthcare challenges, and she was able to explore partnerships to address global healthcare challenges in collaboration with other student organizations. Selena also had the chance to help establish a connection with Singapore and her committee agreed on a virtual student exchange program through APhA.

At the conclusion of the week, Selena was inspired to brainstorm initiatives that could be implemented here in the U.S. and at UConn after discussing with other students their organizations’ approach to solving shared public health issues.

“My experience at the conference taught me that the goal of leadership is to create a world that is not only healthier but also more interconnected. It is important to work together to address global challenges and forge stronger bonds between nations.”