Posted on March 20, 2019

Twenty students from the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) recently returned from Indonesia where they participated in a unique learning exchange program organized by Reach Out To Asia and Education Above All.

UCQ students spent a week with 120 students from the SMK Kesehatan Rahani Husad vocational nursing high school in Klaten, Indonesia. The UCQ students were divided into four groups that each led instructional sessions in areas including elder care, personal development, basic life support, and lifestyle management of cardiac and kidney disease. In return, the UCQ students received instruction on traditional Indonesian therapy methods.

The profession of nursing engages in diverse roles to improve the health of populations through their knowledge and practice. Student exchange trips are a unique aspect of nursing education at the University of Calgary in Qatar and this trip was an excellent opportunity for students’ professional growth, development, and confidence. The trip also offered an important opportunity for UCQ students to gain an international perspective on healthcare education and global citizenship. "To partner with Reach Out to Asia, Education Above All and the local community in Indonesia was an opportunity to facilitate our students to be global citizens and leaders,” explained Barbara Rose-Lovett, UCQ faculty member and trip organizer. “Global health work is based on empowering communities and thoughtful inclusive collaborative engagement.”

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UCQ students also found the trip very inspiring and beneficial. “The University of Calgary in Qatar gave me an opportunity to better understand nursing education through this great volunteer trip,” said third-year student, Aisha Shareef. “The trip exceeded my expectations and it was a great experience for me as a student to see and learn more about another culture, especially considering Qatar aims to enhance education around the world.”

Fourth-year student, Asma Hassan described her experience in Indonesia as particularly valuable as she nears the completion of her studies. “I personally think that having a community service trip at this stage and time of our academic career was extremely important, especially as a fourth year nursing student doing my final practicum. The reason for this is that we will directly serve the population in Qatar after we graduate in few months, and having such experiences made me eager to do more for others and spread the essence of the nursing career. Qatar is a diverse country which made this trip an exciting opportunity and an excellent venue for the University of Calgary in Qatar’s students’ professional growth and leadership development.”

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“Our students gained great experience into the teaching and learning process from this trip,” reported UCQ faculty member Marie-Claude Toriida. “Through the ROTA- led preparation workshops, students developed a teaching plan and fine-tuned their presentation through feedback given by both ROTA and UCQ instructors. This trip is a great opportunity to build teaching capacity in nursing education in Qatar.”

The University of Calgary in Qatar is the only Canadian university in Qatar and the country’s exclusive provider of Bachelor and Master Degrees in Nursing. The deadline for applications to the Fall 2019 term is April 1, 2019.

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