The Toledo Sister Cities initiative is a project that began in 1931 as a way to promote cultural exchanges and bridge cultural divides. Toledo’s first international partnership was, quite naturally, with Toledo, Spain. The program has grown exponentially since 1931 and includes numerous municipal partnerships with cities around the world.
One unique benefit Toledo Sister Cities International has brought to the city of Toledo is the aspect of economic development through governmental partnerships. The program encourages tourism and educational exchanges with the sister cities. The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has successfully engaged international exchanges with sister cities, including a very productive relationship with the University of Szeged in our sister city of Szeged, Hungary.
Students from the University of Szeged have come to The University of Toledo to study in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for several years, and students from the college’s Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program have traveled to Szeged to complete summer research experiences. These students have enriching educational experiences that include not just the challenging scientific work in which they are engaged, but also the opportunity to become submerged in a foreign culture. While they engage in research, they become acquainted with the culture, food and hospitality of their host cities and hopefully gain a global perspective that they can carry into their professional careers in research and the sciences.
Students and faculty members from both institutions participate in mutually beneficial scientific endeavors for a meaningful internship experience. To date, multiple research publications have emanated from the partnership with University of Szeged, and the college’s newest undergraduate major, Cosmetic Science, recruited a faculty member who participated in the exchange from Hungary as a student.
The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has a long-term goal of initiating successful educational and research partnerships with institutions from all Toledo sister cities. These partnerships allow the college to recruit talented and well prepared students from partner institutions, while encouraging UT students to gain scientific knowledge in new settings.