By Kate Hunger
Like many people who enjoy traveling and meeting new people, Caitlin Schwein found her opportunities to do so drastically hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. But a partnership between UT Health San Antonio and Coventry University in England enabled Schwein and other UT Health students to attend online summer seminars with other students from around the world.
“Hearing perspectives, opinions, and experiences from students throughout the world were unique,” said Schwein, who attended a virtual four-session seminar on skills for global leaders. “I think it’s so valuable for students to learn with and from people of other cultures and backgrounds. I think it adds to who we become as health care professionals.”
UT Health San Antonio had planned to send a group of students to Coventry in March, but that trip and Coventry’s other face-to-face programs were canceled in response to the pandemic. Coventry University decided to offer free registration to nine online summer seminars and three standalone sessions to students who had registered for summer programs and to the students of partner universities, said Shawnna Pomeroy, program manager of summer schools at Coventry’s Centre for Global Engagement. In all, more than 300 students registered for the programs, representing 31 of Coventry’s partner universities in 19 countries.
“We wanted to have something to offer to the students who had registered for our programs, and also to our partners and their students who had programs canceled, even if they hadn’t planned on coming to Coventry University,” Pomeroy said.
Schwein was one of about 30 UT Health San Antonio students who registered for summer seminars.
“I am just grateful that they were able to coordinate and provide that for us,” she said.