The University of South Carolina Genetic Counseling Program has a special interest in the international education of genetic counselors. Program director, Janice Edwards, has interacted with international genetic counseling education programs for several years and was awarded the 2004-2005 Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship through the National Society of Genetic Counselors to promote international collaboration. The first ever international conference for genetic counseling education was hosted in Manchester, United Kingdom in 2006 where genetic counseling professionals from 15 countries gathered. Their creative collaboration ultimately resulted in the inception of the Transnational Alliance for Genetic Counseling (TAGC).
From these international ties, our international clinical rotation exchanges have evolved as a special dimension in our student's genetic counseling education. We have hosted students from universities in Australia and New Zealand while our students have traveled abroad from Cape Town, South Africa to Glasgow, Scotland. We encourage all genetic counseling students to consider an international rotation!
I originally pursued this opportunity because I wanted to experience genetic counseling in a country with a culture different from my own. South Africa is the perfect place for that...it is truly a melting pot with people of many different origins and 11 official languages, which creates some interesting challenges for genetic counselors, as these languages often lack straightforward words to describe genetic concepts and very few genetic counselors speak African languages.
- Carrie Anderson (Cape Town, SA 2018)
- University of Cape Town - Cape Town, South Africa
- Queen Elizabeth University Hospital - Glasgow, Scotland
- Genetic Health Services - Christchurch, New Zealand
- Groote Schuur Hospital - Cape Town, South Africa
- St. Mary's Hospital - Manchester, England
- St. George's University Hospital - London, England
- University of Melbourne - Melbourne, Australia