A total of 24 students pursuing degrees in nursing and dental hygiene from Sahmyook Health University College in Seoul, South Korea toured the Northern Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus on Dec. 19 to explore the cultural similarities and variations among Korean and American healthcare academic programs.
As the first specialized community college campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the visiting students toured the MEC’s state-of-the-art facilities and met with faculty and staff to learn about the ten Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees and certifications the campus offers in Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Health Information Management, Emergency Medical Services, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Radiography, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, Medical Laboratory Technology and Occupational Therapy. The third-year nursing students from South Korea were eager to explore every square inch of the campus, from touring the 32-chair dental clinic and technologically-advanced clinical simulators lab to using the Anatomage Table, a high-resolution anatomy visualization system available to students in health fields.
“It’s exciting to know that different cultures from around the world are interested in seeing what the MEC has to offer for individuals pursuing a career in healthcare,” said Dean of Nursing Dr. Bob Wade. “Collectively as a staff, we were extremely excited to provide information on what the visiting students were most interested in learning - nursing and dental hygiene. We are proud of our campus and the resources we provide for NOVA students to become successful and well-equipped to enter the workforce as healthcare professionals.”
Based on a partnership with Columbia College, the South Korean students attend the institution’s Tysons Corner campus for two weeks through a professional training program with Sahmyook Health University College. Steven Kim, Columbia College’s director of exchange and visitor programs, said 36 students with an interest in nursing, dental hygiene and/or cosmetology travel to the United States to participate in the training program to visit local universities and colleges, dental labs and assisted living centers. As one of only three community colleges in the state to offer hands-on medical experience to its students via a human anatomy lab, Kim said the MEC was one of the most anticipated tours for the international students to experience.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.