International Service Learning at UofL School of Nursing
by Ruth Wooten, UofL BSN student
The International Service Learning Program has been an opportunity available to students at the University of Louisville since 1997. Students and faculty have traveled all over the world, from locations such as Barbados to Sisak, Croatia. The University of Louisville ISLP gives students the chance to experience international travel, earn course credit, collaborate with various academic disciplines, and address needs in the global community.
The program typically consists of an orientation and planning phase that spans an entire semester and then a travel experience that lasts about ten days at the end of the semester. Current locations include Belize, Botswana, the Philippines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Students are submersed into various cultures in safe, controlled environments. Diane Riff, MS, APRN, FNP-C, a SON faculty member, is involved with the Croatia component of the program and describes the experience as a meaningful partnership with other countries.
For nursing students, this program highlights the different aspects of health care in each culture. Whitney Nash, PhD, MSN, ANP-BC, director of practice and international affairs, has been a part of the program since 2006. Nash said ISLP is different from other study abroad opportunities in that students are able to utilize nursing knowledge and skills in a very active way.
Nursing students also have a chance to interact with students and faculty from the dental school, justice administration, communication, engineering, sports administration, and psychology, just to name a few. This layout prepares nursing students for the professional relationships they will encounter as components of collaborative care in their future careers.
For more about ISLP, check out www.louisville.edu/islp
For information about the Global Health Scholar program, visit http://louisville.edu/nursing/articles/global-health-scholar-program