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Postcards from Abroad

Nazareth students travel the globe each year, living and learning and gaining new experiences as they go. Here are just a few brief excerpts from three very different regions of the globe.

Postcards

London

These blog entries are by nursing students and faculty who spent last spring break exploring their field as it is practiced in Great Britain.

We had a tour of St. Thomas' Hospital. Imagine waking up from surgery in a site like that! St. Thomas was designed by Florence Nightingale, who believed the patients should have the best views in the hospital, as well as a constant flow of fresh air circulating through the rooms. What do you think about that concept? Brilliant, wouldn't you agree?
– Linnea

Classes at St. Thomas' Hospital in London add an inspirational dimension to the examination of the health care system in Great Britain. Looking at the faces of students, back-lit by the illumination from the windows [of St. Thomas Hospital] that Florence Nightingale prescribed for patients, with a view of Big Ben in the background, was an exciting moment in my teaching career. Our students stand out in other ways, too. I am very proud of the Nazareth students and their commitment to learning over spring break.
– Marie O'Toole, Professor of Nursing

We had to get halfway across the city for an interview with one of the best midwifes in the UK. The interview was fantastic – we collected so much interesting information about the midwifery profession and healthcare in England and realized just how much our system needs an upgrade. Spending an hour interviewing this amazing woman and learning more than we could have anticipated definitely was totally worth it!
– Maggie

I have already been to a medieval banquet, the London Bridge, and the Florence Nightingale museum. OH and I saw BIG BEN today! It was so AWESOME! I have to go because it is 6:40 pm and we are going on a walking tour of Jack the Ripper's London!
– Stacey

From Valencia...

From the blog of Amanda Poppe, who spent a semester in Spain.

I still can't get over how much America, and what we do, affects Spain and the rest of the world. I am willing to bet many of the people here are more knowledgeable about our political affairs than many of our citizens. Their hope is that Obama can fix our economy, or at the least, boost it. When America's economy rises then so will everyone else's. On the day of the inauguration everything stopped, and everyone was watching. After the speech all of the news programs for two or three days straight focused only on Obama. When people here ask me where I'm from and I tell them the United States the reply usually is "OBAMA!

I like the food here. For breakfast in the morning I have tea or juice, and my roommate has cafe con leche. We have variations of bread including magdelenas (muffins), and galletitas (little cookie/crackers) with jelly of either frambuesa (raspberry) or melacoton (peach) on them. Lunch consists of meat, beans, rice, and vegetables. We ALWAYS have oranges for dessert — after all this is Valencia! Every other Sunday my host mother's son, wife, and three grandchildren come over. I am so lucky to be able to experience this "Sunday after church" meal traditional to many families around the world.

An absolutely awesome tradition is siesta. Everyone comes home from work and school around 2 o'clock and then there is a break before everyone returns to work or classes and the shops open up. Many take short naps, others go walk in the park...

Another tradition is the night life. It starts around 1:00 a.m. and everyone is out until 5 or even 6 in the morning. At 2:00 a.m. I saw more people in the Plaza de la Virgen than I did during the middle of the day! It's nice to be able to go out with friends, meet new people, practice the language, and enjoy the culture at the same time.

Meanwhile, in Russia

A group of graduate social work students in the joint Nazareth-SUNY Brockport program spent a week in Russia early last summer to explore some of the social paradigms that were applicable to their own field.

This class and trip feels like a dream come true for me. Reading about international social work and being a "global citizen" has reawakened my passion for international issues and participation. When I decided to go into social work I quietly resigned myself to a less international career than I had always dreamed of, thinking that I would have to pursue travel and international disaster relief efforts as more of a hobby. The topic, material, and service-learning of this course, however, have inspired me anew that I can be a social worker and participate at a global, world-expanding level too!
– Sara

The trip [to a camp] took us almost until 5 p.m. to get there on rutted rain soaked roads. We reached the camp – an old, run-down, mansion in the country that had served as a field hospital in WWII. The camp leader was a character: large, oil-drum belly, brushed eyebrows, yellow pinstriped suit, the staff in soviet style uniforms, following his commands. He informed us the children had a treat for us – outside in the cold wind and rain. Then it happened: magic and beauty. The children came out marching and singing, with English greetings written on their hands, smiling and paraded for us, gave the women flowers from the fields sang the U.S. and Russian national anthems, invited us to their bunks, hugged us. We were overcome, words can not describe, we have found a new partner, doing the most beautiful work with children, in an unlikely place. Just when we were certain there was only disaster, how wrong we were and how lucky to say "yes" and let fate take us to the riches of this world.
– Jed Metzger, Assistant Professor of Social Work

This trip blew by my wildest expectations. I never could have imagined the breathtaking beauty of Novgorod, the potentially life-long connections made within a community half way around the world, and, most importantly, the incredibly moving friendships developed with people from Rochester to Russia. I now have two new places to call home: a tiny flat in Novgorod where my Russian family lives, and with the amazing GRC group that I traveled with. Such memories and experiences are, as my hostess and friend Elena would say, what make life "taste good."
– Sara

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