summer, five graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program at the School of Health and Medical Sciences traveled to Patras,
Greece, to attend the Speech-Language Therapy Summer School at the Technological
Educational Institute of Western Greece.
When first presented with this
opportunity, the SLP students, Mary Carlson, Dana
Cunningham, Megan James, Kelly Joao and Jacqueline Nasisi, viewed it as a profession-based learning experience
in a different part of the world. They did not realize how much they would
learn from the presenters, as well as from the international students attending
the symposium. They were able to glean information about diverse cultural
perspectives in the field of speech therapy, and also about the way of life of
other international students.
the symposium, a different topic was presented each day, including communicative
participation, problem-based learning, comorbidity, emerging issues and new
trends, and professional practice. Most
days consisted of a large lecture with all students, followed by smaller group
discussions on specific topics. The
students also participated in problem-based learning exercises related to
individual case studies. A little sightseeing was on the agenda, too: the students
enjoyed an excursion to Olympia and toured the Olympic Stadium.
the most interesting things that the SHMS students learned at the symposium was
the role that singing and acting play in several international programs. For
example, students from The Netherlands reported class requirements and the clinical
application of singing and acting in speech therapy, as a way to exercise
and relax the the vocal folds. These therapies can improve voice function, such
as volume increase and accuracy of production. The SHMS students also learned about each country's
educational requirements for becoming a speech therapist. SHMS
was the only master's program attending the symposium, as most European schools
require a three-year bachelor's degree to practice.
The opportunity to visit
Greece for the international symposium truly broadened the horizons of these SHMS students. They learned a great deal about
international speech therapy by listening to lectures and interacting with their
peers, and they would highly recommend this experience to future graduate
For more information please contact: