Nursing students go abroad

Nursing students go abroad

The Capstone College of Nursing offers adventurous nursing students the opportunity to explore Cambodia this summer with the University of Alabama nursing service-learning program. Photo Courtesy of Leigh Booth

Arielle Lipan

This 10 day trip immerses nursing students in a Cambodian community to investigate the physical and spiritual states of the people, according to the 
program’s brochure.

The Capstone College of Nursing has offered this type of trip for four years with a number of destinations.

“I began taking students on these trips in 2012,” said Marilyn Handley, a faculty member of the college who initially spearheaded this program. “We have been to Peru, China, Costa Rica 
and Tanzania.”

Leigh Booth, faculty director for the program, will help lead the trip for the third time, with this being her second time 
in Cambodia.

“Once I saw how much the students got out of the experience and how much they were learning, I was hooked,” Booth said. “Not only were you able to go and help 
others and provide a service to others that they did not have access to, but we were also learning so much from the people of the countries were in.”

Alina Wilhelm, a recent nursing graduate, went on last year’s trip to Tanzania. She said her favorite part was working hands-on with the children in the ministries and getting to see how even small interactions can make a large impact.

“You realize how every little thing has an effect,” Wilhelm said. “Even if it’s just blowing bubbles with the children and chasing them around in a circle.”

The field experience provided in this course supplements the one credit hour awarded for it.

Wilhelm said she is grateful for what she learned while working on the study abroad program in Tanzania.

“The entire experience is very humbling,” she said. “You go to nursing school for four years armed with as much medical knowledge you can get and you’re thinking, ‘I’m invincible, I’ve got this,’ then you realize there isn’t as much as you thought you could do.”

The college will offer similar trips to China and Russia this summer.