Exchange opportunities

Typically, Year 3 is when most students participate in an exchange at one of Western's partner universities. See the BMSc website for more details and see Kathy Boon during her drop-in hours to find out how an exchange impacts completion of an Honors Specialization in IMS.

Year 4 exchange at Vrije Universiteit (VUmc) in Amsterdam, Netherlands

This exchange is usually available to a maximum of two students in Year 4 of the Honours Specialization in IMS and takes place in first-term (September - December) of Year 4. The deadline to apply to the VUmc exchange for the upcoming September is January 15.

Students in Year 3 of the Honours Specialization in IMS who are contemplating this exchange are strongly encouraged to complete all the courses required from Groups 1-3 prior to Year 4 (not just those that must be completed prior to Year 4, as indicated in the Weighted Average Chart).

Exchange Details:
Students will take one "Minor Module" at VUmc and then complete the Minor Literature Essay in January, when they return to Western. These will transfer back to Western as 2.5 credits. During second term at Western, students will take Medical Sciences 4900G, 4930G, 0.5 4000-level basic medical science course and two additional half courses (including any remaining 2000- and 3000-level modular courses).

  • Minor Literature Essay - 0.5 credit (see details)
  • one "Minor Module" - 2.0 credits (see below for details)

"Minor Modules" at VUmc:
Students will complete one of the Minor Modules below (VUMc will determine if a particular Minor module is available and suitable for each student). The 2.0 credits transferred for the Minor Module will be used as 1.5 of the "2.0 courses at the 4000-level from at least two subject areas" required in Year 4 IMS and 0.5 3000-level Science option (elective). See below for a brief description of each Minor Module and the credits (including the subject areas) that will transfer back to Western.

Amsterdam Global Health

Global Health Amsterdam (GHA) focuses on primary and community care from a gender and diversity perspective. Based on the principles of Community Service Learning, students will conduct student-generated participatory projects in collaboration with community partners, gain meaningful learning experiences, and provide practical support to community organizations.

More details are available on the VUmc website for Amsterdam Global Health.

Amsterdam Global Health will transfer to Western as:

  • 1.0 4000-level Epidemiology
  • 0.5 4000-level Medical Sciences
  • 0.5 3000-level Science

Minor Literature Essay will transfer as a 0.5 course (3000-level Writing).

Cancer-Immune Diseases - Personalized Therapies

The minor is completed with the new role of Medical Imaging and Nanomedicine in the context of personalized therapy. Patients are different in their genetic DNA profile, immune system, microbiome and metabolism, so if possible, treatment should be optimized by accounting for these personal characteristics. You will learn advanced imaging techniques such as Nuclear Medicine and MRI, which are used to assess if your patient is responding to the given therapy.

More details are available on the VUmc website for Cancer-Immune Diseases - Personalized Therapies.

Cancer-Immune Diseases - Personalized Therapies will transfer to Western as:

  • 0.5 4000-level Microbiology and Immunology
  • 0.5 4000-level Biochemistry
  • 0.5 4000-level Medical Biophysics
  • 0.5 3000-level Science

Minor Literature Essay will transfer as a 0.5 course (3000-level Writing).

Cardiovascular Challenges and Organs

The minor is composed of various topics, which are related to research themes within the Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences (ACS) research institute. In interactive lectures and working groups, knowledge will be gained about state-of-the-art diagnosis tools (imaging, biomarkers), and current and new treatment options.

More details are available on the VUmc website for Cardiovascular Challenges and Organs.

Cardiovascular Challenges and Organs will transfer to Western as:

  • 0.5 4000-level Medical Sciences
  • 0.5 4000-level Pathology
  • 0.5 4000-level Physiology
  • 0.5 3000-level Science

Minor Literature Essay will transfer as a 0.5 course (3000-level Writing).

Challenges in Women's & Child Healthcare

Various topics will be studied, like fertility, uterine abnormalities, genetics, prenatal testing, perinatology, oncology, pediatric diseases, food & health, public healthcare, ethics.

More details are available on the VUmc website for Challenges in Women's & Child Healthcare.

Challenges in Women's & Child Healthcare will transfer to Western as:

  • 0.5 4000-level Epidemiology
  • 0.5 4000-level Pathology
  • 0.5 4000-level Physiology
  • 0.5 3000-level Science

Minor Literature Essay will transfer as a 0.5 course (3000-level Writing).

Hot Topics in Neurology and Psychiatry

Neurological topics include the histopathology, clinical findings and treatment options for disorders such as epilepsy, childhood white-matter disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuro-oncology, Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease. You will meet patients and their treating physicians, visit a juvenile justice institution, a center where they treat depression with ECT, the epilepsy center “SEIN”, learn all about how brain networks relate to cognition and disability, learn how to look under the microscope at brain tissue and how to interpret functional and structural brain scans.

More details are available on the VUmc website for Hot Topics in Neurology and Psychiatry.

Hot Topics in Neurology and Psychiatry will transfer to Western as:

  • 1.0 4000-level Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • 0.5 4000-level Pathology
  • 0.5 3000-level Science

Minor Literature Essay will transfer as a 0.5 course (3000-level Writing).

See what other students have said about their experience at VUMc.

Questions about the VUMc exchange and the impact of completing the Honors Specialization in IMS?
See Kathy Boon during her drop-in hours.