By: Nadiyah Suleiman, Page Editor
TWU’s Center for Global Nursing Scholarship recently coordinated a Cultural Immersion Trip to Peru that enabled Nursing students and faculty to experience Peruvian culture while simultaneously expanding their knowledge of Nursing. The trip started with a forum held at the Peruvian Ministry of Health that celebrated the International Day of Nursing. Several Peruvian, American, and Cuban nursing leaders attended the event, hosted by Peru.
Faculty presented research that was considered to be the most useful for Peruvian nurses. TWU students were also given a chance to present their Population/Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome projects at conferences. These poster presentations covered a wide variety of topics, but the main focus for the entire trip was Women’s Health. Nursing Faculty Advisor Dr. Allison Huffman stated: “We’re hoping to facilitate nursing students to become exceptional citizens in a global society, become more aware of what’s happening outside of the U.S., and take what they learn and bring it back home.”
The trip also included several hands-on learning opportunities such as community work at hospitals and high schools. Senior Nursing student Brittney Koruthu said, “There was one community outreach day when we were in a rural town called Chiclayo. Through this, were able to get more personal interactive experiences with the community based on the group we were assigned to. For example, my group traveled with Dr. Huffman to an all-girls middle school where we got to teach the girls about hygiene.”
Koruthu presented her own PICO project at the conference and was able to use the experience to complete her Capstone for the Nursing Honors Program. Not only was she able to excel academically and professionally, but she also became enriched with Peruvian culture. Koruthu stated: “We met many other nursing students and nurses who taught us about the healthcare system. It was interesting to compare and contrast their way of life with ours.”
According to Huffman, despite the difference in culture and language, everyone was able to actively participate in conversation because specific students were chosen based on their Spanish speaking abilities. Koruthu enthusiastically said: “I would strongly encourage students to utilize this opportunity! I would advise students to keep an open mind when learning about other cultures and make strong connections with the professors, students and other people they meet while on the trip.” Students were able to utilize scholarships made available through the Education Abroad Program to help ease the cost of the trip.
Koruthu also commented: “I definitely believe I have become more culturally sensitive as a person and as a nurse. Also, this trip has inspired me to continue traveling the world, suing my career to impact others while also being impacted.”