Nursing students tend to have a particular type of personality. You desire to help people to the best of your abilities, and you may even thrive in traditionally high-stress situations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job growth for nursing assistants and orderlies[i] is likely to continue to grow 17 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is a much faster average rate of growth than many other occupations. This is in large part due to the expanding elderly population who may require assistance from nurses and other medically qualified individuals. Nurses are required to care for a wide range of patients, so participating in nursing exchange programs is a great idea for those who wish to gain experience and expand upon the many different skills necessary when caring for other people.

Types of Nursing Exchange Programs

There are a wide range of programs for studying nursing abroad in addition to the many different traditional study abroad programs already available. It may be possible to enroll in a university in another country for a semester and complete courses relevant to your current program of study. Are you concerned that you don’t know the language of the country in which you wish to study? In many cases, foreign language skills are not necessarily required before leaving on study abroad and the language may be studied while in the foreign country. It is recommended that students research language requirements before applying to any particular program.

Students who are looking for work experience may be able to pursue internship opportunities with a hospital in a foreign country or participate in a goodwill trip to offer much-needed services in under-developed nations. Students who may have already completed an undergraduate nursing program and are looking to pursue a higher degree might also be able to find Master’s nursing exchange programs available through universities abroad.

Semester and Summer Nursing Internships

If spending an entire academic year abroad has you nervous, keep in mind that there are many different program options of varying length. You do not necessarily need to spend one or two years in a different country earning a degree. There are also options for a single semester abroad, a summer abroad, or even a few weeks abroad, if you look in the right places, many of which provide the same valuable skills and benefits as longer programs.

Finance Information

Financing study abroad for nursing students is often similar to applying for financing for a traditional semester at many universities. Options are dependent on the type of program in which you wish to enroll. If you are applying for a program available through a university, then financial aid may be available, if you qualify. Other programs such as internships, hospital exchanges, or goodwill trips may have their own requirements regarding funding of travel and lodging. It is important to explore all available options beforehand when planning how to fund an educational experience abroad.

Valuable Skills May Be Obtained From Study Abroad for Nursing Students

While studying nursing at home provides many students with the skills they need to jumpstart their careers, completing nursing school abroad may bring with it unique skills. What better way is there to learn about various cultures, languages, and people than to live and attend school in an entirely different country? If you study nursing in a country where English is not the spoken language, then it also provides you with the opportunity to learn a new language, which is a skill that could be cited on a resume and help enhance your career. At the very least, students who study abroad have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diversity of the world and the educational prospects in it. For more information regarding nursing study abroad, explore our Resources section and the many different nursing exchange programs and options available below.


[i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

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