The Global Experiences Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU-Mankato) is a new program designed for international student visitors to explore speech-language pathology programs and services in the U.S. The program offers a global learning opportunity for MSU-Mankato graduate students majoring in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) to engage in diversity training with the visitors.
Dr. Sheen Chiou is the lead instructor of the program. Eight international student visitors attended the 2019 Global Experiences Program (held from mid-June to mid-July in 2019). The visitors included six National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) undergraduate students majoring in special education and two National Kaohsiung Normal University (NKNU) graduate students majoring in speech-language pathology in Taiwan. The program provides unique opportunities to introduce speech-language pathology in the U.S. medical system in all levels of care – including inpatient care, outpatient care, assisted living, memory care, university program training and university services in the community. The visitors learned about innovative rehabilitation services and research offered at Health Partners Neuroscience Center in St. Paul, MN, toured outpatient services at the Mayo Clinic Health Services and Pediatric Therapy Services in Mankato, MN, and visited assisted living and memory care at Oak Terrace in North Mankato, MN. They observed speech therapy sessions at the Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders at MSU-Mankato and learned about supported conversation for adults with aphasia in MSU-Mankato Aphasia Group and MnCAN Conversational Group. They participated in popular summer programs including Camp Maverick (a literacy and recreational camp for children) and Scrubs camp (exploring health-related fields of study for high school students) on campus. They also attended Garden EngAGEment, a dementia friendly garden program, at the Living Earth Community Garden in Mankato. In the new multicultural class, they presented professional topics on speech therapy services, special education, and healthcare system in Taiwan and compared and contrasted the professional topics between the two countries with CSD graduate students. They learned about voice and dysphagia by Dr. Bruce Poburka from Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services. They met Taiwanese doctoral students majoring in speech-language-pathology at the University of Minnesota, and had a great time going on outings with students, faculty, staff, two college deans and the provost at MSU-Mankato.
The NTHU faculty and students who participated in the 2019 program received Schweitzer Recognition Award from Ministry of Education in Taiwan in Oct 2019.