Paramedicine students studying at Charles Sturt University will soon travel overseas to work with Canada and New Zealand's paramedic services.
Twelve students studying a Bachelor of Paramedicine at Charles Sturt in Bathurst and Port Macquarie and online will form part of the University's first paramedicine work experience program in Canada.
Twenty other students from Bathurst and Port Macquarie will also head overseas as part of Charles Sturt's third paramedicine study program in New Zealand.
The students will gain experience in emergency work and responses, be exposed to emergency care facilities, and work alongside and under the supervision of overseas ambulance crews.
Lecturer in paramedicine in the Charles Sturt School of Biomedical Sciences Mr Robert Bear is organising the trip to Canada and said both placements provide a valuable opportunity for students to complete mandatory coursework requirements while gaining international industry and cultural experiences.
"The trips offer students the chance to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned at university to real-life situations, and gain additional insight by experiencing how overseas ambulance services operate," Mr Bear said.
"The trip presents an invaluable opportunity to create and develop international networks, and because our paramedicine graduates work all over the world, these overseas work placements can lead to employment in the future.
"The trip is also a fun way to combine travel with study because students are able to see the sights during their downtime, and I know some of the students travelling to Canada have plans to go skiing and sightseeing after the program."
Students participating in both overseas paramedicine programs were selected through a merit-based process, which considered students' grade point average and written statements on why they wanted to participate in the programs.
Organiser of the New Zealand trip, lecturer in paramedicine at Charles Sturt Mr Adam Diamond, said the University has had great success with the New Zealand program and hopes this extends to the Canadian program.
"The New Zealand program has been very successful and has now become an opportunity for some of our students to apply and work casually as paramedic officers in New Zealand while they complete some of their subjects via the University's online study options," Mr Diamond.
"We hope the Canadian program will have just as much success and will grow to provide our students with even more unique and valuable learning and work opportunities."
The students travelling to Canada are set to leave mid-November and will be placed with ambulance crews from the British Columbia Emergency Health Service (BCEHS) for three weeks working throughout the city of Vancouver.
They will also visit the Justice Institute of British Columbia, where local paramedics are trained and educated.
The New Zealand trip starts in late December and will see four students working with Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA) and 16 students working with the St John New Zealand Ambulance Service (St John) until the end of January.
Students going to WFA will also experience the organisation's emergency dispatch and call centre, work with extended care paramedics, and work in an alternate pathways unit which operates to keep non-emergency patients from the emergency rooms.
Students working with St John will work commence their trip by assisting paramedics in medical tents at the Rhythm and Vines music festival. They will then commence a four-week on-road paramedic placement.
The paramedicine programs were made possible through the support of CSU Global, which strives to provide all of the University's students with the opportunity to experience the world through a broad range of international study experiences.
Earlier this year, Charles Sturt announced the University will soon offer advanced care paramedics in Canada the chance to bridge their diplomas to a bachelor's degree by completing eight Canadian-tailored subjects over two years of part-time online study.