Students will take nursing courses at the University of Seville to stay on track with their major while immersed in Spanish culture
In an unprecedented opportunity, UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing & Health Sciences (CNHS) and the International Programs Office, in partnership with Academic Programs International (API), are offering sophomore nursing majors an opportunity to study abroad at the Universidad de Sevilla beginning in the 2024 fall semester.
"It can be very challenging to find opportunities for nursing students to study abroad," said Daniel Pirbudagov, executive director of international education. "There are many variables in the life of a nursing major—coursework, prerequisites, labs, clinical hours. It has been difficult to find the right way to offer our nursing students the benefit and opportunity to have a rich international experience that meets major requirements, keeping our students on track.
"The International Programs Office (IPO) worked with our existing study abroad partner provider, API, and explored a variety of angles to bring an international experience to our sophomore nursing majors," he added.
Study abroad expands students' perspectives of a global society
"Global learning opportunities advance the mission of the nursing program and university by enhancing student learning with opportunities to examine various healthcare environments and develop leadership skills in providing culturally congruent care," said Assistant CNHS Dean Karen Barnett.
"We typically have questions from potential students and their families about study abroad opportunities for students in the nursing program," said Barnett. "Until now, the opportunities have been limited because the nursing program plan is fairly rigid. This program allows for students to take courses in Spain prior to beginning their clinical courses, so they can study abroad and stay on track to graduate in four years."
According to Barnett, CNHS nursing majors will be taught by English-speaking faculty from the Universidad de Sevilla. They will take 12 credits of coursework including two nursing courses, "Lifespan Development and Health Promotion" and "Concepts of Scholarship in Nursing."
Beyond these courses, students will choose 2-3 courses that may fulfill University Studies or elective course requirements.
"The study abroad program will give nursing students the chance to gain a greater understanding of cultural differences and the diversity of educational programs," Barnett added. "Students will discover new possibilities in the nursing major and the perspective needed to make a bigger impact in the nursing profession and the people it serves. Our nursing majors will expand their perspectives of a global society and develop culturally congruent care that can be applied to practice in the U.S. and abroad."
Any current first-year nursing student in good standing is eligible to apply for the study abroad program. At least ten participants are required for the program to run.
Students will decide if they want to stay in a shared room in a student residence or with a host family. Three meals/day are included with the program regardless of where a student chooses to live along with linens, weekly cleaning, and Internet services.
API offers special global opportunities and a mobile platform
UMass Dartmouth has partnered with API for several study abroad programs in England, Italy, Ireland, and Spain, which enables special pricing and scholarship opportunities for students, according to Pirbudagov.
Additionally, API streamlines the enrollment process using their APIConnect platform. "A lot of processes that were manual are accessible to students on their phones, so they can see what needs to be completed at a glance," he said. "API students can use the Fare Finder app to find better terms on educational travel through APIConnect, with more capabilities being added to the platform in the next few weeks."
An API representative will visit the UMass Dartmouth Study Abroad Fair, to be held in the Grove on Monday, February 12, from 11:30am-1:30pm.
Any current first-year nursing student interested in the Seville program should contact Gina Reis, assistant director of the International Programs Office. Her office is located in LARTS 016A.