The top 10 things to pack (in your brain) for global educational experiences

Traveling abroad is an experience similar to none. Often, you will remember it as one of the best experiences in your lifetime. However, other countries and their cultures are very different from that of the United States’. With that being said, I thought that a few preparation tips from someone who has been abroad several times could be helpful. Enjoy!

10 things to pack

  1. Aglobal mindset: In this educational experience, you will have the opportunity to learn, grow and give back. If you get yourself ready to have an adventure, you will find one.
  2. Curiosity: Be open to learning and experiencing new and different things…isn’t that one of the main reasons for going?
  3. Flexibility: Remember, not everything goes as planned when traveling and not everything can be planned for, so be open to changes. If you are resilient and adaptable, you experience will be more enjoyable.
  4. “Good vibes”: A positive attitude will get you everywhere in life and that includes everywhere you travel around the world.
  5. “This too shall pass” attitude: Sure, things may not go exactly as planned on your trip, they might be not exactly what you expected, at times they could even be disappointing, but know that all these experiences and feelings will pass and eventually good things will come out of the experience.
  6. Wellness focus: To thoroughly enjoy your global experience you need to stay healthy. So, when it comes down to the basics (getting enough rest, staying hydrated, coming prepared with any medications or supplies you may need and paying attention to common-sense advice such as when you can drink the water or eat certain foods) following wise council from your faculty will go far in staying healthy and enjoying your experience.
  7. “Be prepared” motto: Often times you are asked to bring some supplies or equipment with you such as rain gear, good walking shoes, insect repellent, toilet paper and other assorted items. Whatever it is you’re asked to bring, you’re being asked to bring it for a reason, so be prepared to use it and don’t forget to bring it. Remember, around the world everyone doesn’t change their clothes several times a day or wash their clothing after one use. Learn to re-wear your clothes several times.
  8. Cultural competence: You have heard these words in the classroom and discussed them, but now it’s time to put them into action. Your ability to effectively interact with people of different cultures, integrating respect and responsiveness, will take you far in this experience and those that follow.
  9. Humility: It’s important you enter this experience with this mantra - “I am here to learn, I don’t know everything” and be ready and willing to say “I hope you can help me to understand” or “Can you tell me or show me.” A little humility goes a long way in ensuring a positive experience (repeat this mantra several times before leaving on your trip).
  10. “Always a Buckeye” spirit: In all you do, foster and respect the rich diversity that makes Ohio State great and makes us proud as you travel the world #osuglobaltransformation.

Want to share your own advice or experiences with us? Comment below or post on social using #osuglobaltransformation.

Global. Local. Glocal

You might be aware of a fairly new term, the bringing together of two words-global and local-to what is now the buzz term “glocal.” Around the world, we are widely recognizing that whether we are talking about education, healthcare, social services, you name it,

  1. what happens globally affects local communities and
  2. local life in communities reflects the diverse experiences, cultures and people from across the globe.

I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the outstanding glocal connections we have integrated into The Ohio State University College of Nursing. I’m happy to report that we have wonderful international learning experiences for students and will be expanding our options each year.

Gondar, Ethiopia

Students travel to Gondar, Ethiopia over spring break for a 10-day cultural learning experience. This faculty-led education abroad program focuses on assessing the health status and healthcare needs in Ethiopia and understanding concepts of intercultural healthcare. Students will experience the town of Gondar, the largest of the three-former capitals of Ethiopia, which is the setting for the impressive castle of Emperor Fasilidas. The University of Gondar is one of the largest universities and teaching hospitals in Ethiopia. Students will have the opportunity to converse with and learn from Gondar nurses, faculty and students throughout the program. Students will also experience the extraordinary Simien Mountains National Park in Northern Ethiopia. This UNESCO World Heritage site has jaw-dropping peaks and plateaus, and amazing wildlife that will leave all visitors in awe. There are no clinical credits for this program.


For BSN students in their sophomore or junior year, as well as Graduate Entry, Traditional Master’s students and non-nursing majors, we offer service learning in partnership with the Jubilee House Community/Center for Development in Central America (JHC/CDCA) in Nicaragua. This three-credit course includes pre-departure classes delivered in the spring semester and the in-country portion of the course occurs over a 12-day span in early May. Students participate in five days of service learning at JHC/CDCA’s clinic Nueva Vida in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua and also travel to Matagalpa and engage in education about traditional medicine, coffee manufacturing, as well as observe in a rural healthcare sponsored by the Ministry of Health.

United Kingdom

For Midwifery students we offer a clinical experience in the United Kingdom on the Isle of Jersey, a UK Crown Dependency channel island located between England and France. The spring break elective study abroad program will expose students to the practice of British midwifery within the clinic, hospital and community setting. In partnership with the University of Chester Midwifery educational program on the Isle of Jersey, students are paired with registered midwives throughout the experience.  Nurse-midwifery students in their final clinical year are eligible to apply for the two placements.


During spring break, graduate students can receive 60 clinical credit hours at a site in Choluteca, Honduras. Students will work under faculty supervision, providing healthcare and health education in rural villages, public health departments, hospitals and schools. The team also provides education to community healthcare workers and high school students, as well as screenings and medical treatment to patients.


We are excited to announce a new partnership in Norway for Graduate Entry students enrolled in NURSING 6240S Concepts in Community Health Nursing for summer semester 2019. We are offering the full clinical experience required for the course in partnership with Lovisenberg Diaconal University College (LDUC), which was the first school in Norway to offer a nursing degree (est. 1868). We will have an extraordinary experience partnering with Norwegian nursing students, who are also completing their community health clinical. In addition, students will have opportunities to participate in cultural and educational events on this faculty-led trip including a project “Oslo by Night,” which addresses population-focused care of individuals, families and communities who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised. From the fjords, fishing, skiing, Vikings and healthy lifestyles, we welcome students to journey with us to the land of the midnight sun.

Overall at the College of Nursing, we will continue to think glocalas we expand and refine our international partnerships. Our focus is on global transformation through educational experiences, cutting-edge research and evidence-based practice and community partnerships both here and abroad.