In today’s increasingly global world, international collaboration is on the rise. More than ever the barriers of distance and language are overcome for the benefit of science. International collaboration brings with it numerous benefits, not the least of which is a partner with a unique and different perspective. Through collaborative techniques, knowledge and training can spread from labs across the world to treat patients in distant locations.
Within the Department of Surgery
The Department of Surgery employs 45 individuals on visas, a number that has been steadily increasing over the past five years. Of these 45 individuals, the majority are considered employees in training or honorary fellows; with five serving as academic staff; six classified as visiting scientists; five visiting professors; and four regular faculty members. China and Japan are the most common countries of origin, as well as Turkey, Brazil, India and Canada. The Department of Surgery is one of the largest employers of international visitors at the University of Wisconsin.
Beyond the educational and occupational opportunities within the Department of Surgery, faculty members bring a variety of international backgrounds and experiences. Several Department of Surgery employees use their skills to provide care in such places as Nicaragua, Tibet, Russia and Kazakhstan. Department staff have received training from around the world and bring with them unique skills, contacts and information.
At the UW
The UW instills the importance of international collaboration from the undergraduate level. Upwards of 1900 students study abroad each year and the number of students traveling outside of the U.S. borders is increasing. Approximately 4100 students come from abroad to study at the UW. Last year our university hosted 1538 international scholars, 726 in the fields of health and biological sciences. The vast majority of these scholars come to the UW to participate in research. In total, visiting scholars represent 77 different countries.
The UW Center for Global Health, formed in 2005, encourages the development of global health programs and research, forge global health partnerships and to increase interdisciplinary work in the area of global health. The center provides awards funding for global health related travel and runs a global health certificate program and has established projects in Ecuador, Uganda and Thailand.