Van Duong '13 and Marlyn Nicolas '13 enjoying the conference in Thai cultural outfits.
Student Pharmacists Attend IPSF World Congress in Hat Yai, Thailand
Nineteen students of Pacific's International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation (IPSF) had an amazing opportunity this past August to fly halfway around the world to Hat Yai, Thailand. On September 30, 2011, the students who attended this adventurous trip gave a presentation of their experience.
The student candidates visited Hat Yai, Thailand from August 3 through August 14, 2011 to attend the IPSF World Congress. Throughout their adventure abroad, these students met many student candidates from around the world and also enjoyed the logistics of the event. One of the first orders of business was the election of new members in the executive board and the second was to discuss of legislation within IPSF. Voting was done by members who were present, as well as those who were unable to make it but voted via Skype. Aside from World Congress election and logistics, students also attended workshops and social events.
The students conducted one workshop on the topic of diabetes. They presented information to their audience to help them become more aware of diabetes and treatments that can be done to help their patients. Another health awareness event that the IPSF students were involved in was the Live Campaign. This was an anti-tobacco campaign where the students marched the streets of Hat Yai saying anti-smoking chants in Thai. In addition, some people who participated in the campaign also were involved in a freeze mob. This activity had people with anti-smoking props and every three minutes they would freeze in a new position showing the consequences of smoking or the refusal of smoking. Later in their trip, students attended a workshop which taught them how to make traditional Thai medicine including: Herbal balls, Plai balm, an herbal inhalant and mosquito repellant.
Students continued to participate in more workshop related activities throughout the week to get to know the different countries that attended as well. Each country gave presentations on how pharmacy is conducted in their country. Van Duong '13,former co-chair of IPSF, said it was "interesting to see how pharmacy is different in different countries". A friendly competition was held where the students were divided in teams by their country to see how quickly and effectively each team was able to inform their patients. Michelle Kim '13 informed the audience that University of the Pacific was one of the top teams from the competition.
The students of IPSF definitely had scheduled time to work and learn but also had time for fun while getting to know Thai culture. Local students of the Thai community came to meet with the student candidates to teach them traditional Thai dances and play games. One of the students said that they even tried a thirteen legged race, "but it didn't turn out so well". Other fun activities they participated in was river rafting (which turned out to be kayaking with three people and one paddle), going to a popular Thai club called RIX, eating amazing Thai food and drinking tea every two hours. The students of IPSF expressed genuine fervor about their trip and some even prolonged their stay to see the main attractions of Thailand.
Next year World Congress will be held in Egypt and the students are highly encouraged students to attend. IPSF member Marlyn Nicolas '13, former co-chair, said that the "experience is definitely worth it and everyone should have the opportunity to go". The students of World Congress Thailand couldn't help but show enthusiasm about their trip abroad. They had an amazing experience learning about pharmacy in foreign countries, Thai culture and networking with other student candidates. World Congress Hat Yai, Thailand was an experience of a lifetime and the IPSF students encourage others to embark on a World Congress adventure too.