UBC & Guru Nanak College of Nursing Student Exchange Program
Broadening nursing education in India and Canada through student exchanges
Between 1998 to 2006, CIES funded student exchanges between the UBC School of Nursing and the Guru Nanak College of Nursing (GN College). Nursing students from Canada would visit India, and nursing students from India would visit Canada.
The focus of these exchanges was on developing practical skill sets among nursing students.
While in India, UBC students received free accommodation within visitor housing on campus, free meals prepared by staff and free transportation – all provided by the Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust (GN Trust), the non-profit organization behind the Guru Nanak College of Nursing.
While in Canada, GN College students were supported by CIES and UBC Nursing volunteers who helped them with transportation and administrative tasks.
Activities that took place to broaden nursing education during student exchanges
Nursing exchange students were given the opportunity to take part in classes at their host universities. They were also invited to participate in clinical practice at hospitals and in local communities. This was to develop ‘real life’ skills in caring for patients.
Outcomes of the student exchange program
Approximately 4 students per year from each university participated in exchange trips for each year that the program was running.
These exchange programs broadened nursing education by showing students how nursing is carried out in countries other than their own. For example, Canadian students previously had no exposure to dealing with infectious diseases that are common in hot climates. This prepared them for diseases that new immigrants may bring to Canada.
Indian students who came to Canada learned about healthcare standards in British Columbia, and how to implement them in practical settings back home.
Students also built new relationships while learning about each other’s cultures and histories.
“Our partnership with CIES brings a great deal of benefits to Punjab, but also to our programs in Vancouver. Our students and faculty gain a global perspective on nursing, as well as learn cultural sensitivity. It broadens our perspective so that we can effectively develop our programs to serve not just our local community, but citizens worldwide.”– Colleen Varcoe, Director of the School of Nursing