Julia Abey is doing what many students in her nursing program consider impossible. She's spending a semester studying abroad.
Julia Abey is doing what many students in her nursing program consider impossible. She’s spending a semester studying abroad.
Nursing students have a rigorous curriculum that must be completed before their junior year, when clinical exams start. This leads to the common belief that nursing majors can’t fit study abroad programs into their packed schedules.
But Abey, as a sophomore, spent the spring semester of 2018 studying in Seoul, South Korea, with plans to return home when her classes end in late June.
“Adelphi University caters a lot to international students and gives people like me the opportunity to experience the world,” Abey said. “I felt that it was important to step out of my comfort zone and learn about a completely new environment, language and culture.”
Abey is focusing her studies on Korean culture and language while abroad. She has attended a traditional music concert, visited the war museum, toured temples and palaces, and traveled to neighboring cities.
“This study abroad experience has helped me better understand and experience something new and different,” Abey said. “I have been able to gain confidence and independence, see how others live, and try many new things that I never thought I would.”
Spending a semester abroad isn’t the only way nursing students can get international experience. Adelphi also offers valuable Intersession programs. Deanna Dempsey took advantage of one of those to travel to Costa Rica as a first-year student.
“I knew before selecting a college that study abroad was something I wanted to do,” Dempsey said. “I wanted to learn about different cultures and step into unfamiliar territory. I thought studying abroad would be difficult for a nursing major, but Adelphi makes it easily attainable.”
Dempsey studied in La Carpio, Costa Rica, from January 8 to January 16, with 14 fellow students and two professors. They worked directly with the children there to teach them about nutrition and health.
“We played soccer, taught them hopscotch and jump-roped with them,” Dempsey said. “The following day, we taught them the importance of nutrition, and a group of students helped prepare a meal with the women of the school.”
They also collected donations of toiletries and toys for the children.
“The people in La Carpio do not have the resources and technology we do, and yet they are so happy and welcoming to others,” Dempsey said. “It was one of the most satisfying feelings to see the children so happy after we played games and exercised, and to see their faces light up when we gave them their gifts.” Those gifts included necessities such as toiletries.
“This trip made me reflect on how important understanding culture is,” Dempsey said. “Every patient that I have and will take care of comes from a different background and set of beliefs. It is important to understand this so we can provide them the best care they want and deserve.”
Outside of the classroom, Dempsey saw a local theatrical production, toured a chocolate factory and visited the land of the indigenous Indians.
After exploring these different cultures, Dempsey and Abey both highly recommend the study abroad experience to their fellow nursing majors at Adelphi.
“My advice to other nursing students who are thinking about studying abroad is do not hesitate—100 percent go,” Dempsey said. “Do not listen to anyone who says it’s impossible to be a nursing student and study abroad. It was by far one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences I have had. If I could go again, I would.”
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