Assistant Director of Off-Campus Study at Hamilton College
Clinton, New York
It may be possible for you to get both rigorous courses AND gain some career-related experience. Choosing a program for its academic offerings and reputation could give you a chance to be exposed to pharmacy studies in a different context and have a culturally immersive experience while still fulfilling coursework that you need.
Employers like to know that not only do their new hires have the academic experience, but also the soft skills that will make them someone that will be interesting and easy to work with. An experience abroad helps students develop intercultural communication skills, which in employer-speak makes you someone who can communicate effectively with different groups of people. Being able to function and learn in a new environment and work with others who come from a different cultural background and who present new perspectives make study abroad students more appealing to employers since this often mimics the work environment. In addition, the abroad experience strengthens problem solving skills and increases one's level of adaptability. Future employers are looking for employees who demonstrate these qualities because it indicates that a new hire can contribute to the work environment in a positive and productive way.
There are programs abroad that emphasize experiential learning which might give you a chance to have some more hands on experience than you might otherwise not get at your home school and that would be attractive to future employers. Some programs/universities abroad may offer students an opportunity to do research, an internship, or service-learning -all options that could give you additional job related experiences that you can put on a resume. Universities in Australia and the UK may be a good fit for someone interested in pharmacy studies. Program providers like Arcadia University, IFSA, and API have programs in these locations that might match your interests and needs.